Legal entity

Jan Husar jan.husar at
Thu May 8 21:14:07 BST 2008


I don't want to discuss about the legal certainty, but mostly about
the organizational issues.

I'm involved in several international and national foundations with
national legal or virtual affiliates (mostly in EU), I also co-founded 
couple of those and
I can say that:

having a legal entity, alone or as an affiliate to a greater foundation
or projects bears a lot a of personal commitment, where as being distracted
by the goal or ending up doing everything yourself, this can easily happen,
to avoid such problems you should either:

a) have a really big affiliate, like example, Brazil where you have
several people who can handle some legal tasks

b) join effort with similar smaller projects, like example, national
foundation for promotion of open source software, where you can
easily manage to bring several smaller communities together
so you share the duty

c) be a virtual affiliate and when you need to handle finances there is
always a way, like a personal business license, friends company and so on,
the sponsor can even donate directly by them self as a form of expense,
this can be used for lot of things. This is the matter of agreement and
personal involvement from both sides.

As for the organizational problems, be prepared for lot of paper work,
also reporting to the government offices, maybe handling members (depends
on what sort of society or NGO you want to have).

from my personal experience I can say that the most suitable
legal entity is a non for profit organization, since in most countries
you don't have to have members who are voting
on the policy and decision makers inside. This
depends mostly on the statute and I strongly advise
to write it with a Lawyer, and preferably use him
as the legal counsel of the NGO (this is mandatory
in some EU member states). Second important thing
is a board which must be named by the founder/founders
in the founding lists, here as well I strongly advise to have
at least 5 people who are being activist in your case,
can donate personal time and commitment.  This form
of commitment don't need to be exact as the main one or few guys
who are using and directing the foundation, but would
be welcome.

The board should be a mixture of older and younger guys
from different backgrounds, academia, government,
corporate business, SMEs, social activst and maybe even
a law person, and most important you should trust each other.

I doubt there are better ways then this, we tried a lot of stuff
in past and the worse is to start saving a sinking ship :)

hope it helps

ps: I can try to help more when someone write something specific


Efrain Valles wrote:
> ..snip..
>> But Matthew is right, this should be discussed by the LoCo and
>> Community Councils.
>> nick
> Most definetelly, it should be added for the meetng we are having early
> june (post USD)
> cheers
>> --

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