Many who are called to ministry do not have the understanding of how to operate in the world’s legal structures. Governments do not seem to make it easy for people to start and structure churches. However, in the U.S. it is quite easy. The government just doesn’t tell you how easy it is. Neither do attorneys. They want you to pay them to do it the complicated way.
Here are a few things that might help. In the U.S., churches are automatically tax exempt charities, without having to apply. Once your church gets larger, and you want to accept large donations, it might make sense to apply for tax exempt recognition by the IRS. For most churches starting out, and many well along in years, this is not necessary.
We have a church trust form that we use. Feel free to modify it to suit your needs as you and your attorneys see fit. You can have your church officially established in a matter of hours.
We also have a whole system to get a property tax exemption on parsonages, without the minister having to pay self-employment taxes on the parsonage. This system is for ministers who own their homes, not for church owned homes.