Legal entity - part 2.

Mark Van den Borre mark at
Sat Jun 7 19:38:23 BST 2008

2008/6/7 Søren Bredlund Caspersen <soeren.b.c op>:
>>> There seemed to be a bit of interest in the aspect of turning LoCo
>>> teams into legal entities. So I would like to keep you all up to date,
>>> and invite you to take a look at what the Danish Team is working on.
>> [...]
>>> Feel free to comment - feedback is more than welcome.
>> _Why_ would you introduce this extra complexity? What can you do that
>> you can't do without one?
> As mentioned on the linked wiki page this is a very common way to
> organize here in Denmark. That means that newcomers to the LoCo team
> and partners will easily recognise the democratic structure.
> The other aspect is the financial/practical one. With limited
> economical funds it is more easy to get access to rooms (used for
> release / install parties, etc.) when applying as a Forening
> (association) than as a individual who happens to belong to a loosely
> defined group.
Please understand that most of my ubuntu advocacy work has been in the
context of Belgium. As far as I can compare to nordic countries,
incorporation here is much harder to deal with, and it offers less
benefits. People are more used to dealing with informal organisations

If we would have someone with decent legal experience on our team,
just the cost for filing the incorporation with federal government
would be 142.18€.  With minimal paid legal advice, that cost would
rise to about 550€ and still require a substantial effort on our
behalf. This doesn't include the money and energy spent on a yearly
tax declaration and other legal paperwork.

To put things in perspective, we just paid 654€ to have 4000 ubuntu
posters printed. With preorders covering more than 500€ of this, we
only needed about 150€ in funds. We raised 660€ for ubuntu promotion
at the Ubuntu 8.04 LTS release party.

We have experienced no problems finding nice places for meetings, or
even accepting donations, even if we unincorporated. Was it sheer
luck? Maybe. In any case, informal contacts have worked for us so far.

But again, I can imagine very well that things are entirely different
in other countries!

In the little experience I had with Denmark for example, it felt to me
like a civilised country where public administration often actually
helps people realise their dreams instead of burying them in piles of
hostile incomprehensible paperwork. Or people in the US could be
afraid of organising ubuntu things out of fear of claims and lawsuits.

So please don't take my input as a "don't do it". Just have a really
thorough look at your options. We decided not to go with formal
structure until we _really_ really needed one, but you may have really
good reasons to act differently.

Mark Van den Borre
Noormannenstraat 113
3000 Leuven, België
+32 486 961726

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