Articles of Incorporation - Part One

Approximately 41% of the churches in South Carolina are NOT Incorporated. The South Carolina Baptist Convention recommends and encourages that all churches consider incorporation. The two basic reasons for this encouragement is to help a church provide clearer rules for operation (Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Policies and Procedures) and protection of the membership from liability. If lawsuits are filed against the church itself church leaders are generally shielded from liability – if the church is incorporated.

Churches in South Carolina do not have to employ an attorney to file their application for Incorporation, or making any changes to their Incorporation documents. Generally these Articles of Incorporation include the legal name of the church, its address, its purpose, its means of membership, and a list of its agents/trustees.

In South Carolina once the Articles of Incorporation have been drafted, filed, and fees paid ($25) to the Secretary of State the church does not have to make annual reapplications. Any changes of leadership, amendments to documents will need to be made periodically on the appropriate forms.

To download all of the needed applications simply go to: www.scsos.com then “forms”, “Non-Profit Corporations”, Applications. The filing costs associated with each form is noted on the last page of each form.

If you or your church is unable to download the forms please call the GuideStone & Church Administration Office (803-227-6170) for a sample of the forms.

Continue to Articles of Incorporation - Part Two

Robert Grant

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