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Nonprofit Law/Starting a society or a professional organization

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QUESTION: I have a unique and very effective job search program that I give free to job seekers all over the world (See AllExperts/job tips). I am retired after a very successful executive career and am enjoying giving some of it back. It is totally pro bono - I do not sell books, tapes or look for consulting work. I give seminars in addition to my AllExperts work, but because I am an individual and not an organization I am not able to get free publicity for these seminars as is given in newspapers for Engineering Society meetings and other business functione. How do I set up a Society or other type of organization. I would like to restrict this to me only as President, and there will be no income or expenses involved.

The research that I have done has resulted in a lot of red tape, non-profit rules, etc. Can I just print business cards with the name FREE JOB HELP SOCIETY, me as president, email and AllExperts contact, etc? Your advice will be much appreciated.

PS - I have also been an Expert for years in the categories of birds and Bluebirds.

ANSWER: I don't know the requirements that newspapers have for giving free publicity, but, otherwise, you can establish a business, whether a nonprofit or for-profit, with the name "Society" in it. The least expensive way is to use a dba filing in your state (Oklahoma), and it appears that you want the easiest as you wanted to avoid "red-tape" and rules.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -
Harvey108@hotmail.com

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.    



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for getting back to me. When I google DBA I see paperwork and money charges. Where I am giving away something useful free and where I have a track record of doing this do you see any problem with my business card approach? Thanks, Bob Walshaw.

ANSWER: I have in my profile that this free forum is only for general questions relating to IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations. Your issues are controlled by state law and states may differ somewhat with how they would treat such issues. Even though this forum is not for such state law issues, I will inform you that I have seen that no state allows someone to use a name for business purposes unless they register the name.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law - Harvey108@hotmail.com

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.    



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you. Regarding your profile, AllExperts referred me to you. I appreciate your patience in trying to help me. Regarding registering a name, I am not wanting to do this for a business purpose, but to reach out and help people who need what I have to offer totally free. Bob Walshaw.

Answer
I am not holding it against you that you did some search at www.allexperts.com and my name came up.  I am just informing you that I do not practice the law of Oklahoma and you might want to consult with an Oklahoma attorney, but, generally, if you are not engaged in any sales of goods or services or solicitations of funds, you are not subject to the state law which would be for  "business".  You may want to see
https://www.sos.ok.gov/forms/FM0021.PDF which is the form "Trade Name Report" which is commonly known as the form for registration of a dba or fictitious name. Note that form refers to Title 18, Section 1140.  That section provides:
--- Start of Excerpt ---
A corporation or other business entity doing business in this state under any name other than its legal name shall file a report with the Secretary of State setting forth the legal name of the corporation or business entity, the jurisdiction of organization of the corporation or business entity, the trade name under which the business is carried on, a brief description of the kind of business transacted under the name, and the address wherein the business is to be carried on.
---End of Excerpt---

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -
Harvey108@hotmail.com

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.  

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Harvey Mechanic

Expertise

I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at Harvey108@hotmail.com I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "site:allexperts.com/q/nonprofit" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.

Experience

I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.

Education/Credentials

B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.


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