For many communities, the local church serves as not only the place for religious fellowship and worship, but also a community center for children activities, adult outreach programs and a public hall for community gatherings. For that reason, church leadership may be called upon to seek a variety of business and professional assistance. Church business leadership may include ministers, board members and administrators. This will depend on the size of the church and how it is organized for church decision-making purposes. Consultation needs for churches may include matters involving accounting, business operations, financial investments, insurance, laws, real estate and taxes.
Contact church leadership about providing accounting services. There are many financial considerations that may require church accounting. This includes tithes, offerings and fund-raising proceeds. Church business leadership may include ministers, board members and administrators. This will depend on the size of the church and how it is organized for church decision-making purposes. When calling a church, ask who handles accounting matters or who procures church service vendors.
Offer taxing services to a church. Though a church may be organized for taxing purposes as a not-for-profit organization, this does not mean that it does not have to file documentations to taxing authorities. For instance, if the exempt church generates gross income unrelated to church business, it may have to file documents such as Form 990-T and an Exempt Organizations Business Income Tax Return. A tax service provider can focus on providing its consulting and document preparation services to local churches in such matters.
Consult with churches on real estate matters. There are frequent times during the life of a church that it is called upon to expand its real estate needs to accommodate church missionary works. Some churches lease apartments and single family homes as part of community outreach services. Many churches in urban communities operate child day-care centers, or lease facility halls and kitchens to community organizations for non-church-related events.
Provide legal counsel to churches. This requires a proper law license with the relevant state legal bar. Churches may need legal services because they have to petition a court for redress or answer a court complaint. A church may also need legal advice on business operational issues or real estate transactions. Develop a practice area that focuses on providing legal services to churches.
Advise churches on insurance needs. Like any facility that is open to the public, there is a need for basic insurance that will cover losses in the event of someone being damaged on the church property. A church may also acquire insurance related to real estate it owns. The insurance options vary, providing an opportunity to consult with church leadership on this business matter.