Some businesses operate as associations, with examples being certain clubs and nonprofit entities. Most of the time an association is created, not to make money, but to benefit the members of the organization. While it’s not too complicated to do, learning how to form a professional association is a good first step in getting yours up and running. Use this guide to help you each step of the way.
Plan Your Association Parameters
Going forward without a plan usually doesn’t go very well. Creating goals and then a plan for reaching them will help you on your way as you work toward getting your association ready to operate. This is the step where you’ll write a business plan and a mission for your association. You want something that is different from other associations so you have something marketable, but also something of value, so keep that in mind as you move forward.
Build the Association
Now that you know where you’re going with your association, you can build it from the ground up. That involves creating a board organized with members who work together and strategize to help you fulfill the goals of your association. Make sure that you have a clear description of the role the members will play and choose them with care so that you have a group who shares the same mission and goals you do and are invested in the success of the association.
Do Some Fundraising
Requesting charitable donations is a big part of running a professional association, particularly if it’s a nonprofit business model. You can ask for financial assistance from individuals, businesses, other associations and even government entities. This can be done by simply asking for donations, but you might also consider a fundraising event, such as a gala or 5K run.
Incorporate Your Association
The process for this is a general one, with each state having some additional parameters that go with incorporation. It’s a good idea to be familiar with what you’re up against so you’re prepared for each step in the process. In most cases, you’ll need to file a Certificate of Incorporation and pay the associated fees. In some states, you will need to publish your articles of incorporation a set number of times in some sort of local newspaper or other publication.
Claim Tax Exempt Status
Now you’re ready to claim tax exempt status if your association is going to be a nonprofit entity. This involves filing for a 501(c)(3) status, which gives you several tax benefits, as well as eligibility for grants that you can use to operate your business. With that in mind, you will have to stay compliant with the IRS regulations that go along with your status to stay eligible and prevent legal proceedings.
How to Form a Professional Association Through Corporation Center
Running an association can be rewarding and enjoyable, while also giving you the opportunity to share a vision with like-minded members. If you have a mission and are ready, contact Corporation Center today to assist you to form a professional association. We’ll help you get the paperwork started so you can enjoy everything a professional association has to offer in no time at all.