Kennerly, Montgomery & Finley P.C.

Kennerly Montgomery has extensive knowledge and experience dealing with issues related to nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations such as public charities, private foundations, trade associations, research institutions, religious institutions, educational organizations, and homeowners associations.  We understand the unique legal challenges confronting nonprofit organizations.  Attorneys practicing in this area offer full service support to nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations doing business in Tennessee and across the country.  Our attorneys assist nonprofit organizations with planning, governance, employment, tax, and other issues organizations must address on an ongoing basis.  We understand that nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations have multifaceted legal needs that encompass a wide range of discrete yet interrelated practice areas.  Our team is knowledgeable in each of the areas and provides services specifically tailored to address the issues unique to each area.

Formation and Ongoing Tax Compliance Matters

We help clients select the form of entity, organizational structure, and policies necessary to comply with the law and achieve their individual missions.  We help minimize the legal liability exposure of directors, officers, and other personnel with carefully drafted organizational documents.  Our team of attorneys guides our clients through the process of qualifying for and maintaining both state and federal tax-exempt status.  We can help establish public charity or private foundation status including all related organizational, operational, and administrative requirements.


We understand that establishing and following adequate governance practices is a vital component to the continued operation of nonprofit organizations and the maintenance of tax-exempt status.  For example, our attorneys help nonprofit organizations to establish recordkeeping procedures, including conflict of interest policies, to create a record of compliance with all the applicable local, state, and federal requirements.   We assist our clients to navigate difficult private inurement issues to avoid jeopardizing tax-exempt status and incurring penalties.

Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Compliance

Our experienced attorneys understand that creating attractive executive compensation plans is important.  However, we also recognize that state and federal laws place limitations on executive compensation.  Our team helps organizations create a competitive yet reasonable executive compensation plan that complies with regulations prescribed by the IRS.  In addition to executive compensation issues, our team of attorneys assists nonprofit ant tax-exempt organizations with employee benefits issues related to ERISA; qualified and non-qualified plan compliance; fiduciary standards of care; investment policy statements; and health and welfare plan compliance including compliance with the Affordable Care Act.

Real Estate

We counsel our nonprofit clients with respect to the purchase, sale, lease and management of real property.  We also assist clients with real estate tax issues including exemptions. 

Intellectual Property

We understand that nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations are vital to the research and development of valuable intellectual property that spurs local, regional, and national growth.  To preserve and nurture the intellectual property created by these organizations, we provide services related to establishing, protecting, transferring, and enforcing intellectual property rights including rights related to patents, trade and service marks, trade dress, copyrights, trade secrets, and other areas of intellectual property law.  We help clients by handling trademark, copyright, and patent licensing issues; developing agreements and facilitating transactions; and defending and enforcing intellectual property rights against third parties. 

Churches and Church-Associated Organizations

The attorneys at Kennerly Montgomery have the knowledge and skill necessary to guide religious institutions and their members through a variety of issues including those related to church benefit plans; ministerial housing allowances; church-state disputes; and local, state, and federal taxation.  Our attorneys recognize that although churches and church-associated organizations share similar characteristics to other nonprofits, they also have special issues unique to them.  Our firm understands these issues and works diligently to resolve them.

Attorneys who advise on Nonprofit and Tax-Exempt issues include:

For more information on nonprofit and tax-exempt organization issues, please contact us at (865) 546-7311 or select an attorney above to contact them directly.

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