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How to Register a Mosque in USA

 
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Category : > Non Profit Organization / Religious Corporation
Posted On : Wed Oct 19th,2016

 
An Ultimate Guide to open a mosque in the USA
 

What is a mosque?

Mosque is placed in which followers of Islam worship of God and do plan, manage and operate sociological and education activities for the whole mankind.


What are the basic steps to start a mosque as a Non Profit Religious organization?


In the US, starting a mosque is not a complex process. You can start a mosque like any nonprofit entity. Here we will discuss step by step process:

  • It must be registered either with the Secretary of state or with your county clerks office.
  • Employer Identification Number must be obtained from the Internal Revenue service to open a bank account and filing taxes.
  • All non profit religious and non religious organizations file for the exemption status (501C3) with the Internal Revenue Service.The Mosque will not be considered a non taxable or a nonprofit organization unless getting an approval for the Federal Exemption. It is a very complex procedure and may take few months to get the approval from the Internal Revenue Service. It is highly recommended to retain a professional to file it for you to avoid rejection by the IRS.
  • Sales tax exemption is also required to file with the Attorney General Office to treat the organization as a non profit in few states, such as New York.
  • The entire process is estimated  three to five months.
  • You may need up to minimum six members or directors to register a nonprofit religious corporation. Such as, New York religious organization requires six members and non religious organization with three members.

 

How many personnel are needed to start a mosque?

You may need up to six personnel to start a mosque, we may name as:

  • President/CEO/Chairman: the person ultimately in charge
  • Secretary: person in charge of keeping records, meeting minutes and all legal documents
  • Treasurer: managing the financials of the corporation
  • At least one member or director of the organization must be an outsider.
  • A Non US resident can also be a member of the non profit religious organization.

 

What type of legal entity should be created for the Mosque?

The Mosque is a religious organization and does not register as a Corporation, Limited Liability Company or an other business structure. Articles of a Non Profit files to incorporate a Mosque. You may check with a CPA, lawyer or consultant about which is best for you.

 

How to avail nonprofit status for a mosque?

Having federal income tax exemption is commonly referred to as having 501(c) (3) nonprofit status. The name comes from section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), which is the section allowing educational, charitable, religious, and certain other organizations to obtain federal tax exemption. Obtaining tax-exempt status offers a number of benefits for your nonprofit.

 

What should be in articles of incorporation to start a mosque?

The articles of incorporation to start a mosque may contain general information about a corporation, such as a name, Aims & objectives, location, Membership, Voting Members, Organizational structure, Board of Director, Meetings, Quorum, financial and audit matters of the business.


What should be in articles of incorporation to start a mosque?

The articles of incorporation to start a mosque may contain general information about a corporation, such as a name, Aims & objectives, location, Membership, Voting Members, Organizational structure, Board of Director, Meetings, Quorum, financial and audit matters of the business.


How to get tax ID for a mosque?

Once you receive approval from the state then you can contact the IRS to get your corporate tax ID.

 

How to avail tax exemption for a mosque?

You can be a non-profit organization unless got tax exemption. You must file an application within a short time after you incorporate to obtain your tax-exempt status. Please note that this process may take months well beyond the initial tax period.

How to open a bank account to start a mosque?

You can open a bank account for a mosque easily after furnishing some documents to bank such as Board Resolution, details of signatories, proof of legal structure etc. It is highly recommended that you have separate bank accounts for the type of functions you have. I would recommend at least 2 accounts:


  • Operation accounts for rent, utilities, salaries, maintenance and all operational expenses
  • Sadaqah/Zakah account to track donations to distribute to the poor

 

How are members added to start a mosque?

You need to define the guidelines clearly in your bylaws on how members are added to your organization and their voting rights. You may give a reference in your articles of incorporation. A simple as one sentence as “The Corporation shall have members” may suffice.

 

What are the regional/ zoning issues to start a mosque?

You must check for the type of region / Zone wherein you want to start a mosque. Please note that even if the zoning ordinance allows for a religious institution that other factors such as road access, sewer, building type, etc. may adversely impact your project.


How to file taxes for a Mosque?

  • It is a non profit religious corporation and does not file taxes either with the State of Federal.
  • The audit chances of the nonprofit are very high and recommend you to keep the proper record of contributions and distributions.


Create a Website for a Mosque

It is recommended to give an online visibility to share your programs online and you can also collect donations online.

  

Abdul Wahab

MS Management Sciences, ACMA, APFA


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