Can a non profit organization (a Church) be a part owner of a for profit company…

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Can a non profit organization (a Church) be a part owner of a for profit company…

With the for profit company feeding some of its profits into the non profit, while still providing a positive flow of revenue for the for profit company itself?

Asked on May 15, 2009 under Business Law, Nevada

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Not entirely sure.  This is more of a taxation and corporate law mix.  In other words, typical non-profits are 501(c)(3) per the IRS.  See the definition of a non-profit tax exempt entity below:

To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.

The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.

Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct. For a detailed discussion, see Political and Lobbying Activities. For more information about lobbying activities by charities, see the article Lobbying Issues; for more information about political activities of charities, see the FY-2002 CPE topic Election Year Issues.

 

As long as funds aren't going the other way and it meets the criteria above and it is more passive ownership not active, it sounds as if it would be alright.  You may want to consult with legal aid or an attorney versed in taxation and nonproift law.  Try www.attorneypages.com or Nevada State Bar or legal aid.



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