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Non-Profit Law

Non-profit corporations and similar entities must comply with a complex set of statutes and tax rules that must be followed if favorable and legal operation under the law is to be achieved.  For religious organizations, the legal landscape is even more daunting because such organizations also operate in a legal environment made even more complex by religious custom, doctrine and church discipline.

The Firm's lawyers are adept at advising religious and non-profit organizations regarding the unique legal issues that such organizations encounter.  The Firm has represented religious organizations in the creation, use, and management of endowments, donor gift instruments, corporate sponsorships, commercial transactions, real estate development projects, and with respect to church governance issues, including litigating several church schism matters.  The Firm has assisted many churches, large and small, with campus expansion projects, real estate acquisitions and commercial lending matters.  The Firm has provided advice with regard to tax-exempt status and advice and counsel to boards of trustees and/or directors.

Representative clients includes: the 6th Episcopal Districts of the A.M.E. and C.M.E. connectional churches, Big Bethel A.M.E. Church, St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Antioch A.M.E. Church, New Life Missionary Baptist Church, Ben Hill United Methodist Church, Sterling Chapel United Methodist Church, Radcliffe Presbyterian Church, Emmanuel Temple Holiness Church, St. John AME of Fairburn, Georgia, Wheat Street Baptist Church, Cornerstone Baptist Church, New Bethel AME of Lithonia, Springfield Baptist Church, Peace Baptist Church, and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church of Lithonia.

The Firm has assisted these clients with internal governance issues, economic development projects, seniors housing, mixed use development projects, and entity formation and tax-exempt compliance.

NONPROFIT CORPORATE LAW AND GOVERNANCE

  • Formation and incorporation
  • Governance and board structure, composition, roles, and responsibilities
  • Board/staff relationships, responsibilities, and delegation of authority
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Liability, risk management, insurance
  • Attorney General Issues
  • Relationship with chapters and affiliated organizations
  • Regulatory compliance and annual reporting
  • Corporate practices and recordkeeping
  • Mergers and dissolutions

TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATION LAW AND REGULATION

  • Counsel to all classifications of 501(c) tax-exempt organizations with emphasis on: 
    • 501(c)(2) Corporations holding property for tax-exempt organizations 
    • 501(c)(3) Charitable organizations, private foundations, operating foundations, and supporting organizations 
    • 501(c)(4) Civic organizations 
    • 501(c)(5) Labor organizations 
    • 501(c)(6) Professional, business, and trade associations, chambers of commerce 
    • 501(c)(7) Social and recreational clubs 
    • 501(c)(8), (9), and (10) Employee associations and fraternal organizations 
    • 501(c)(12) Mutual or Cooperative Electric Companies 
    • 501(c)(14) Credit Unions
  • Obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status
  • Advocacy, lobbying, and political activities
  • Grantmaking practices
  • Executive compensation
  • Intermediate sanctions
  • Public charity support tests and qualification
  • Private foundation rules and regulations
  • Operating foundation and supporting organization qualification and operating standards
  • Disqualified person and self-dealing rules
  • Commercial and entrepreneurial activities
  • Taxation of unrelated business income
  • Corporate Sponsorships
  • Annual reporting, Forms 990

CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS, ENDOWMENTS, AND TRUST LAW

  • Charitable gifts, contributions, and deductibility
  • Endowments: creation, use, and management
  • Endowment policies
  • Charitable Trusts
  • Donor gift instruments including restricted and outright gifts, donor advised funds, and board designated funds
  • Modification of charitable trusts (under the doctrine of Cy Pres)

EMPLOYMENT

  • Employment contracts
  • Executive compensation and contracts
  • Employee termination and severance
  • Independent contractor / employee compliance
  • Employee handbooks and staff policies
  • Employment discrimination
  • Harassment claims
  • Utilizing volunteers and interns
  • ADA and reasonable accommodation laws
  • Wage and hour laws

ORGANIZATIONS IN TRANSITION

  • Mergers, dissolutions, and asset transfers
  • Restructuring and corporate reorganizations
  • Affiliations, partnerships, strategic alliances, and collaborations
  • Joint venture agreements and joint venture entities
  • Use and role of subsidiaries, controlled organizations, and for-profit entities

TRANSACTIONAL WORK

  • Contracts of all types
  • Leases
  • Management and operating agreements
  • Gift and funding agreements
  • Grant award agreements
  • Cross-border funding arrangements
  • Non-compete and non-solicitation agreements
  • Confidentiality agreements

NONPROFIT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

  • Protecting and managing intellectual property: 
    • Copyrights, trademarks, names, logos, and patents 
    • Research, business methods, work processes, and trade secrets
  • Licensing and royalty agreements
  • Private vs. organizational ownership of intellectual property
  • Confidentiality, non-competition, and non-solicitation agreements

Schedule an Appointment

We work hard for our clients, representing them vigorously and diligently. What truly distinguishes this Firm is the individual attention our attorneys deliver. At this Firm, every client receives the direct, personal attention of an experienced attorney who will handle every aspect of his or her legal matter from inception through conclusion. We keep our clients fully informed of the progress of their matters. We endeavor to answer all phone calls or emails within two hours, and in all instances return calls within 24 hours.

Office Locations

260 Peachtree
Street NW
Suite 2000
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 658-9900
(404) 221-3662 (fax)

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