Legitimize our user group...
January 19, 2010 11:41 AM   Subscribe

I run a user group...help me make it legit.

I currently run a fairly specialized Apple user group. We charge a donation. We could (should) charge more. Except I don't know the next steps? Right now we number at 250-300 members. (PA, and yes, I know you're not my lawyer, legal adviser etc.)

I'd like to formalize the 'business' side of things - I have ideas on how to raise money, fund the group, people keep offering sponsorships....and I'd like to see this return money to me (especially since some of my time is spent on keeping it running, etc.) I'd even like to have money to pay some webwork, promotions, etc.

Except I don't know how to make these things legal. What should I be doing? Should we be a for profit company (if so, an LLC?) Should we be non-profit? How do I pay myself in either case? I don't really know the next step(s)
posted by Towelie to Work & Money (3 answers total)
An assocation like this thats a for-profit looks bad. You're better off as a non-profit.

and I'd like to see this return money to me (especially since some of my time is spent on keeping it running, etc.)

Most likely youd have to make yourself an employee or executive director to dip into the money. Regardless, this is all 'get a lawyer' territory.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:11 PM on January 19, 2010

The next step is seeking a lawyer who can help you with the paperwork and advise you on the legal issues you face, mainly liability and taxes. Mefi's wiki has some guidance on getting that done.

Personally, I have a hard time accepting a user's group dedicated to the use and purchase of a specific vendor as being charitable. But I suppose some people also feel a for-profit enterprise would be preying on the group and perhaps they deserve some form of oversight.
posted by pwnguin at 4:54 PM on January 19, 2010

First, make contact with your Apple Regional Liaison.

Then make contact with Chuck Joiner of mugcenter.com, who can point you in the right direction.
posted by Wild_Eep at 6:20 PM on January 19, 2010

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