Churches and para-church organizations have many of the same legal issues as business corporations, but they also have further requirements placed upon them by the federal and provincial governments. Both levels of government are constantly trying to balance how to best regulate charities to allow for operational freedom, but at the same time prevent fraud and prohibited, non-charitable activity. The ability to grant charitable receipts is recognition of the importance of charities to society. This special legal and tax status must be protected and used wisely.
Initial Recommendations for Charities
• Retain a certified accountant familiar with Canadian charities
• Retain a lawyer familiar with Canadian charities
• Develop written policies using the assistance of legal counsel and organizations like the Canadian Centre for Christian Charities
• With the assistance of legal counsel, develop clear and workable membership terms for the admittance and removal of members
• Keep up-to-date on developing issues and legal requirements
• With the assistance of legal counsel, develop written dispute resolution mechanisms for members that allow for full and fair hearings in compliance with administrative law