Amy Carroll » Ministry Development » Fall Jump-Start: Week 3 Q & A

Fall Jump-Start: Week 3 Q & A

Here’s a review and a glimpse of things to come…

I’m doing a Fall Jump-Start series with Q & A. Click on the links to read week 1 and week 2. Today there’s a ministry-related business question and a couple of questions every one of us has wondered about but hasn’t dared to ask!

Next week I’ll finish up the Q & A, and there will be a series on fees and the business of ministry in September.

Here we go…!

I had lunch with a girlfriend a few weeks ago and was telling her about the speaking ministry that God had laid on my heart. She then asked me a question that I had no clue about answering. She said, “Are you going to incorporate or become an LLC?” Since I hadn’t planned on charging any type of speaking fee as I was getting the speaking ministry up off the ground, I hadn’t even thought about that. ~Kate

I want to start with a disclaimer. These thoughts are based on my very limited knowledge. I’ll give you some food for thought, but it’s very important to consult your tax advisor and possibly a lawyer before you make a final decision.

Of the speakers I know, there are basically two ways to make yourself “official” in the governments eyes. For years, my husband did our taxes, and he simply reported my earnings as one who was self-employed. When I started speaking more and then started Next Step, things became more complicated. I needed a separate bank account for Next Step, so I went to the bank inquiring about how to start a business account. I was informed that I needed to either apply for a Sole Proprietorship or an LLC. The LLC requires payment of a yearly fee, but I chose that option because it offers immunity to my family’s personal finances in the event of a lawsuit.

(Just in case any of you think about suing me for bad advice in this blog, I’m just telling you ahead…blood from a turnip!)

It’s just my two cents, but I don’t think you need to establish anything official until you start charging fees. At that point, it’s great to start being business minded about your speaking ministry. A separate checking account for your speaking ministry serves as a reminder to keep track of any expenses and income. You’ll be happy you kept up all year when tax time rolls around again!

Although you can hire a lawyer for the LLC process, I’ve done it all myself, and I’ve found it to be easy in NC. We have hired someone to do our taxes since they’re more complicated, and she has saved us money. The LLC doesn’t change my tax status at all, and my CPA reports all my earnings and deductions as self-employed (as I understand it!).

The other option is to apply to be a non-profit. Most of those who I know who have taken this option are building a whole ministry rather than just speaking independently. Becoming a non-profit is much more complex, and you will probably need the counsel of a lawyer and/or CPA. The benefit, however, is that you can begin to raise money through donations.

That’s really all I have to offer on the topic, but I hope it helps. Any words of wisdom from those of you who have chosen one of these options?

My questions are strange but I would love to hear what you and other speakers have to say. First, which deodorant works best for a sweaty speaker? I sweat so much when I speak and have learned to dress “cool” no matter the weather outside. I’d love a good deodorant recommendation.  And second, what’s the best way to avoid the numerous “pre-speak pees”? Seriously, tmi, but I could use the bathroom 5 times in the hour before I speak. Nerves? I don’t feel nervous, but apparently my bladder gets that message. Any ideas?

Sorry for the personal questions, but they are real issues for me! ~Jennifer

What is it about the topics of sweat and pee that turns us back into giggling middle-schoolers? I know that was my reaction, but these subjects are no joke! 🙂

The other day a friend of mine was describing her physical reaction to an emotional stress as “pitted out”! Though the term is funny, it’s not funny when you’re the one who’s pitted out in front of a crowd.

On the Today show the other morning, I saw Secret Clinical rated as the top deodorant for women. Anybody else have experience with this issue and a recommendation?

Sweat isn’t so much my issue, but pee definitely is. (So wrong on so many levels.) Not only do I have a weakening 46 year old + bladder with the added stress of 2 births, needing to go is one of the symptoms when I’m nervous.

After one event where I nearly fainted from dehydration, I’ve decided pre-event fluid fasts are not the solution. Plus, dry mouth is unfortunately another symptom of my nerves.

Mostly my solution is to ignore my bladder’s faulty signals. I take a potty break about 15 minutes before my introduction, and then I just don’t listen to the spasms. Since the urge ends a few minutes into my message, scheduling and ignoring works for me.

Anybody else want to weigh in on the pee predicament?


ps. Please come back next week. That’s the end of the pee conversation. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Having formed an LLC and a Non-Profit I can tell you that a good tax person is essential. It’s best to have one that will allow you to pick their brain without insisting they d everything so you can learn. As for the LLC: I found that the cheapest way was to do through my states Department of Revenue (I’m in MO). Legal Zoom offers an easy process but they are more expensive ($25 vs $99). The biggest thing is to keep track of expenses (even travel mileage) even if you aren’t going to charge fees. This does help you at the end of the year.
    As for a non-profit, I had a friend who had set up a non-profit before helm me out. He was essential because there are so many forms, terms, and deadlines. There is a lo of help online if you are a do-it-yourselfer, but I really needed someone to hold my hand so to speak through the process.

    1. Such great advice, Stephanie! Thank you for sharing from your experience. I love our speaker girl community.

  2. A little piece of advice for the bladder problem is to avoid caffeine, especially coffee! It’s a diuretic which means it empties the bladder frequently which can cause dehydration. Soft drinks don’t seem to be as much of a problem.

    If the frequent trips to the bathroom are from nerves, then I’d have to agree with Amy’s solution “to ignore my bladder’s faulty signals.”

    1. I hadn’t even thought about caffeine as a culprit, Rose! Thanks for the tip.

  3. Mitchum’s is great, it’s an antiperspirant and deodorant. They have their original, and one for women. I’ve been using the original for years, before they even came out with one for women…….that’s a lot of years. It really works for me.

  4. LOVE that you’re covering practical stuff!

    I sweat like nobody’s business. Always have. And if I’m dehydrated or the room don’t have decent ventilation, my nose turns beet red. Lovely! (Don’t even ask about the time the podium from which I spoke was placed directly in front of a blazing FIRE PLACE!!!)

    I use Certain Dri. It bugs me that they can’t spell “d-r-y” correctly, but it works better than anything else I’ve tried.

    I also wear print tops…ALWAYS. And all my speaking tops are ones I can toss in the washing machine the moment I get home … no fancy “dry clean only” silks or special care sweaters. I’d destroy them in one wearing.

    Re: the pre-podium pees, one word: Kegels. (as in Kegel exercises) They help. Totally agree that you’ve got to keep sipping water for hydration and to prevent dry mouth. (Slippery elm helps with dry mouth, I’ve been told … haven’t tried it.)