Q: Is a not-for-profit the same as a Benevolent Corporation in Missouri?
A: No, they’re not always the same.
Missouri law recognizes “Benevolent” corporations under Chapter 352 of Missouri’s Revised Statutes, and “Nonprofit” corporations under Chapter 355. The nomenclature becomes confusing, as the Benevolent and Nonprofit corporations are both types of “not-for-profit” corporations, and both can be recognized as tax exempt. Each of these terms has a specific, different meaning to lawyers in the field.
However, there are very specific, very different governance requirements for each type. While Benevolent corporations can be more complicated to create, they can be a more flexible, long-term choice than Nonprofit corporations. You should consult with a Missouri lawyer about the advantages and disadvantages under Missouri law before you select a particular form.