Summary of the LoCoTeam meeting, 2005-09-21

Matthias Urlichs smurf at
Wed Sep 28 13:25:29 CDT 2005

Hi Jane,

> It is true that these donations would not be tax deductible, but I think 
> that is a small tradeoff to make.
Donating money, or other stuff that's not completely written off, to
somebody who can't give anything in return, not even a tax deduction, is
not a safe thing to do in some countries.

In Germany, for instance, the legal theory is that a profit-oriented
corporation exists for ... well, profit. Any one-sided spending makes the
tax people somewhat suspicious when they're auditing you. Companies
generally don't want that, even if they *do* have nothing to hide.
(Mistakes, or just differing interpretations of the taxation and
bookkeeping rules, do happen. :-/ )

> Right now there have been very few limits put on LoCo teams, other than
> this issue of we do not see the need for regional, competing non-profit
> foundations (which is how you started this discussion - with a request
> to establish The Ubuntu Foundation - France).

I don't think anybody said anything about competing with each other.
Yann and I have, however, identified some problems with the current
situation which we'd like to resolve.

[ I'm not going to comment on the CD situation, which seems to be somewhat
  mixed up with the local-nonprofit idea ]

> One issue which you are skipping over is the potential need a LoCo team
> to have a bank account to hold any monies (so that it is not in one
> person's account/mattress). In countries I have experience with, it
> isn't necessary to have a company or non-profit in order to get a bank
> account. Can others comment on this? E.g., if we give you the trademark
> permission, can you go to your local bank and open an account as "The
> Ubuntu-XX Team"? The issue of who has authority to withdraw money from
> that account would be up to the LoCo Team itself.

In Germany, you need something government-recognized, like the dreaded
local not-for-profit. ;-)  If you don't have that, you can set up a
business account, but (a) the money will still legally belong to the
person who opened the account, with all the potential tax hassle that
entails, and (b) it'll actually cost more.

Anyway, I'd like to propose that we discuss this further / find a solution
(well, so sue me, but I'm an optimist) at next Monday's locoteam meeting.

Matthias Urlichs   |   {M:U} IT Design @   |  smurf at
Disclaimer: The quote was selected randomly. Really. |
 - -
Never argue with an angry person.

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