for the use of a CORPORATION SOLE
In order to optimise the benefits of a Corporation Sole (a spiritual assembly) for your church or religious organisation, take a look at how some churches in the U.S.A. operate:
- Some advocate incorporation of the church itself under Section 501(c)(3). This provides non-profit and charitable status. The real benefit here would be to others - if they require a "Charitable Donation" receipt for tax purposes, and you have been acknowledged as a "charity." BUT WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS!
This makes you in effect a GOVERNMENT CHURCH, which is an 'organisation' rather than a true 'church'. Read the article on this very carefully.
- The officers of the church are established as individual Corporations Sole. Under Section 508, they do not even have to register and are automatically tax-exempt.
- Assets of the church are held by these corporations sole, which provide anonymity, protection of assets and perpetual succession.
- Some funds may also be held as assets by the corporations sole: the Building Fund, Church Maintenance, Missionary Work etc
- Sometimes officers, or others, sign a Vow of Poverty, assigning all their income to the church - or one of these corporations sole. In this way ALL income enures to the benefit of church operations. A "Vow of Poverty" however is normally undertaken by a member of a Religious Order: this is not necessary if you yourself are a Corporation Sole.
There are variations to this theme in other countries. At the present time - as far as we can ascertain, only in U.S.A. and Canada is the corporation sole officially tax-exempt - ie, it is actually stated in writing to be so.
If you do not reside in the U.S.A. and wish to establish a Corporation Sole in one of its States, we would recommend the State of Nevada, as it is different from other states - it refuses to provide information on anyone to the IRS, has no income tax and has its own statutory corporation sole (which we do not recommend, but we will incorporate information in your Common Law charter which will satisfy any questions raised there when you request an Apostille from the Secretary of State). You will also require an official Agent in Nevada, so that will provide you with a local address.
It is MOST important to have a 'mother church' - under which the office is held and we can create for you a charter for an unincorporated spiritual assembly to fulfill this purpose. See the only known website on a common law Church Charter.
(Update February 2010: this webaite - http://www.foxholebuddies.bigstep.com/ - no longer exists)
"Most Catholic dioceses consist of many Corporation Soles under one umbrella of one incorporated office of a bishop. Each building or automobile may be in its own corporation. The reason is purely to limit insurance liability. If the church school bus is involved in an accident, the recourse is to the corporation that owns the school bus, not the entire building or sanctuary.
"This principal for limiting liability is similar to the practice of the commercial airlines. All commercial airplanes are self-contained corporations. There have been as many airline crashes in recent years as there have ever been, but there are no million-dollar court settlements. The reason we no longer hear of multi-million dollar court settlements is that all of the assets to defray liability for the crash is sitting in a Florida swamp and all the liable corporation officers are just as dead as the passengers. The huge airline companies keep raking in the money and have no liability for the loss, whatsoever."(!!!!!)
See also Notes for Americans.
Do not forget to print your Business Cards
See sample Vow of Poverty and rules for Religious Orders.
Return to the COMMON LAW CORPORATION SOLE CONTENTS Page
or go to the CORPORATION SOLE APPLICATION Form
© Dr Milson Macleod Jan 2000