15 Feb Business Registration for Non-Profit Organizations?
Last year the City Council passed an ordinance that requires not for profit organizations to register with the business license administrator.
Since letters went out within the past couple of weeks, I have received a few calls and been stopped on the street and asked “is my church going to have to pay a business license?”
The answer is non profit organizations will not be asked to pay a business license on income that supports their core mission as stated in the Internal Revenue Service Code when they were granted the federal non-profit status.
The purpose of the registration is to have record the non-profits that operate in the City as there is no record elsewhere and public safety officials need to know that they exist so that if necessary they will be able to respond.
That said, if a non-profit operates a business outside of it core mission, thereby competing with those who pay business licenses, the income from that activity, and that activity alone, “could” require the same fee that a private sector individual or organization providing the same service pays. Such would level the playing field. BUT, TO BE CLEAR, NO NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION — WORKING WITHIN THE SCOPE OF ITS CORE MISSION — BE IT RELIGIOUS SERVICES AND EDUCATION, PROVIDING SOCIAL SERVICES OR EDUCATING THE PUBLIC, WILL BE ASKED TO PAY A BUSINESS LICENSE. Only the registration is required.
If you have questions, please call the City Business License Administrator at City Hall. The main number is 843-525-7070.
The change was brought about because a few non-profit was operating for profit enterprises creating an unfair opportunity agains the competitor.