We understand religious leaders’ passion is to serve their communities and grow their ministries. VF&N is committed to helping congregations remain focused on their mission by managing their religious institutions’ legal risk and preventing common pitfalls.
How Can We Assist You?
Religious Institutions as a Corporation
If your religious institution is considering or reviewing its corporation status, you may want to retain an experienced attorney to aid you in the process. VF&N attorneys have the experience to navigate the nuances of designing a document that is both in accordance with Virginia Corporation laws and sensitive to the original mission of faith. We can assist in:
- Creation, maintenance, and compliance of bylaws, governing documents, and other books of order
- Articles of incorporation
- Contracts, insurance policies, and employment matters
Church Real Estate: Construction, Expansion, Purchase or Sale, Loans and Leasing
After years of collecting for the building fund, your church is finally ready to make the leap of faith to purchase land or a new building. Bringing in a skilled attorney at this point can save thousands of dollars caused by permit delays, poorly negotiated loan terms, or post-closing encumbrances. We can assist with:
- Purchase agreements
- Negotiating terms of a loan with lenders
- Filing for land use and zoning permits
- Compiling due diligence and lender requirements reports
- Outreach and coordination with experts like architects and surveyors
- Reviewing construction contracts and delay provisions
- Facilitating BOD/ member approval and opinion letters
- Land use tax assessments
If you are years into a large purchase or expansion project, your focus has shifted from building to thriving. Often land and space is a church’s largest asset and potential revenue earner. If you are considering selling land or leasing your space, you should round out your real estate team with a trusted real estate attorney to support the following transactions:
- Review of or drafting of leases that protect the institution
- Unrelated business income and tax implications
- Sale Agreements
- Loan term review and audits
"On behalf of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, I am writing to say “thank you” for the legal services and representation you have provided the church over the many years. We deeply appreciate your unfailing attention to detail in servicing our account and, as important, for working with us on payment terms that were fair and reasonable. We are fortunate to have you as our legal team. Your staff is very professional and always provides legal advice that is in the best interest of the church. Please know that your high standard of quality service has not gone unnoticed."