You can incorporate a ministry in Florida by filing articles of incorporation for non-profit organizations. By incorporating, you protect the ministry from bankruptcy in the event of a lawsuit. Non-profit corporations are considered tax exempt business entities. This means that your ministry will not have to pay income taxes on revenue earned during the year as long as the revenue is used to support charitable activities. Tax exempt status also means your ministry will be eligible to apply for many private and public grants not available to for-profit corporations.
Choose a name for your ministry. The name must include "incorporated," "corporation," "Corp.," or "Inc.," but may not include the words "Company" or "Co." Submit this name to the Florida Division of Corporations for approval before completing articles of incorporation.
Obtain the signature of the registered agent. A registered agent serves as the contact person for a corporation. An individual or other business entity may serve as a registered agent. You must include the address of the registered agent in the articles of incorporation.
Obtain the signature of the incorporator. An incorporator is the person in charge of setting up a corporation and filing articles of incorporation.
Include a corporate purpose statement in the articles of incorporation. This statement outlines your reasons for starting a ministry. If filing online, keep corporate statements short--240 words or less. If submitting a longer statement, mail the statement to the Division of Corporations office.
Describe the election process of those serving on the board of directors. Provide the names of board directors and officers. If elections have not been held yet, include the names in your first annual report.
Submit articles of incorporation to the Divisions of Corporations. A certified copy of the the articles of incorporation will be sent back to you after filing.
Visit the Florida Department of State website to download article of incorporation forms for non-profit organizations. You can submit forms electronically or by regular post.
You must submit an annual report that describes yearly business activities. This report must be filed by Jan. 1 of each year. Corporations that fail to file an annual report may have their business license revoked or articles of incorporation dissolved.