Business Tip #15 for Writers: Writing as a Ministry

October 8th, 2012 → 8:00 am @

Authors, now that we’ve distinguished your writing business from a hobby writing, it is time to consider another potential aspect of your  business. Perhaps you intend to run this writing business as a ministry and use your gifts for others. Fantastic! Are there any special considerations for this type of writing business? This excerpt from my book, Business Tips and Taxes for Writers, outlines key distinctions between a nonprofit and for-profit business. Take a look:

“An author might wonder, ‘What is the tax status for a business that is really more of a ministry?’ The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not have a category called “ministry” for tax purposes, but they do have two other categories: charitable nonprofits and for-profit businesses. A writing ministry can be structure as either.

A charitable nonprofit organization is an entity that has a mission other than making money . . . The distinction between nonprofit and for-profit businesses are:

 – Profit motive. A charitable organization is motivated by mission, not profit.

 – Ownership. No one owns a charity. A board of directors and staff run the organization…

 – Use of surplus money. A charity may accumulate a surplus, but it does not belong to the board or the staff. Surplus money stays in the charitable organization for use in the future toward its purpose.”

Thinking that your writing business looks and functions more like a nonprofit ministry? There are certain things to take into account when running your business this way. Business Tips and Taxes for Writers addresses this, specifically in Chapter Two . Its pages hold some good information and examples for your writing ministry to run smoothly and efficiently!

Carol Topp, CPA


One Comment → “Business Tip #15 for Writers: Writing as a Ministry”


  1. Pete Price

    7 years ago

    I started a small business last January and I used Lou Patten CPA in Lake Worth to do my business planning. Mr. Patten assisted me with a business development plan and a financial analysis. He is really good and very affordable. I suggest you check him out. Here’s his website http://www.loupattencpa.com