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Religious Corporations Law on Long Island, NY

Is a religious institution considered to be a not-for-profit corporation?

In the state of New York, one can form a not-for-profit corporation if they are interested in providing a specific service to the general public without the intention of financial gain. Under the state's Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (NPCL), religious establishments would qualify—including churches, temples, synagogues, etc. Religious Corporations Law defines a religious corporation as one that has been established for the purpose of enabling its members to congregate for worship or religious observances.

When an "incorporator" is interested in forming this type of not-for-profit corporation, they would generally be required to file a Certificate of Incorporation—just as one would do when creating a non-profit for educational or political purposes. Since a religious institution would be classified as a Type B corporation, it would also be exempt from federal income taxation.

Examining the Benefits of Forming a Religious Corporation in New York

Although religious denominations can congregate for worship just about anywhere that they would like, it would make sense for an organization to form a not-for-profit corporation. In doing so, they would be able to enjoy the benefits of limited liability and various other attributes associated with corporate entities.

Although religious corporations would be regulated by New York's Religious Corporations Law (RCL) and the Not-for-Profit Corporations Law (NPCL), the process of incorporating is typically less arduous. Since there is a clear separation between church and state, the RCL would require an organization file the Certificate of Incorporation with the county clerk where the establishment is located—rather than the Secretary of State. They could also forego the process of gaining permission from the attorney general if they wished to dissolve the religious corporation.

Do I file a Certificate of Incorporation with the County Clerk or the Secretary of State?

If you are interested in forming a religious corporation in the state of New York, there are several important steps that you must carefully execute. For this reason, the legal team at Jonathan E. Kroll & Associates, PLLC encourages you to trust in our Long Island attorney to guide you through this complex process. We can assist you in filling out a Certificate of Incorporation, as well as ensure that is filed with the appropriate office.

Although most religious organizations will only need to submit this document to the office of the county clerk wherein the establishment will reside, some will need to follow the same instructions as a non-religious corporation. If, for example, the organization does not have an established place of worship, the Certificate of Incorporation would need to be "filed and recorded in the office of the secretary of state." (New York Religious Corporations – Article 2 §3)

Contact Jonathan E. Kroll & Associates, PLLC for a Free Case Evaluation

Forming a religious corporation in the state of New York is a complex process that should be carried out under the supervision of a competent lawyer. For this reason, the dedicated team at Jonathan E. Kroll & Associates, PLLC would like to ensure that your case is managed by a legal professional who is experienced in this area of the law. When you enlist the help of a Long Island attorney from our firm, you can rest easier knowing that you will be provided with nothing less than the personalized representation that you deserve.

To learn more, we ask you to give us a call today at (516) 324-3138 or fill out a free online form. From there, we will be able to walk you through the process ahead.

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