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STARTING YOUR OWN FISHING CLUB & INCORPORATE ON YOUR OWN
By Rich Johnson & Heather Sussman
There are a great variety of fishing clubs across Long Island and many of them are very good in what they do and stand for. Many of them are environmentally aware, have high standards, raise dollars for an assortment of charities and for the most part they do good work.
This is a story of how we started the not-for-profit association, Lets Go Fishing, back in 1990. By no means should this article be interpreted as legal advice, but is meant to simply explain the steps we took in setting up and incorporating a fishing club. In this case a non-for-profit organization, without the hassle or expense of hiring an attorney and it took a less time as well.
FORMATION. There are a few things to consider when deciding what kind of organization to create. Should we incorporate? Should it be profit or not-for-profit? Should it be an educationally based organization or a social club? If you incorporate, who will sit on the board as the clubs first directors? These were some of the ideas kicked around before we decided on a not-for-profit, education based association. Now that we had a general, yet somewhat detailed idea of what we wanted to do, it was time for the leg work.
HITTING THE BOOKS. As with any homework assignment, hitting the books is the key to success. In this case of self-imposed homework, the next logical step was to go to the law library. We made up our mind from the start not to incorporate any lengthy or expensive lawyer negotiations. We were going to do this on our own!
We headed for the law library in the Supreme Court building in Mineola to begin our search. You dont have to be a lawyer to gain access to this building or its books. It is open to the general public for research on the premises and none of the books may be removed for home use. You can also check with local college and public libraries to see if they possess a set of these law books.
WHICH BOOKS. There are two sets of books that we needed to use, with one particular volume from each set that provided us with the necessary information. The first set of law books are the McKinneys Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated and the second set is Wests McKinneys forms.
In the McKinneys consolidated Laws of New York Annotated we looked at book #37, Not-For-Profit Corporation Law. In Wests McKinneys Forms set, we looked for the book, Forms, Not-For-Profit Corporation Law. Look for Article 4, (Formation of Corporation) sub section 402, form 1, and page 219 that is the general form for Certificate of Incorporation. This gave us the information and outline of the Certificate of Incorporation need to be filed with the Secretary of State for the State of New York.
ARTICLE CHOICES. Our research of the information provided in book # 37, directed us o the many Articles of Not-for-Profit law. Searching through many Articles and subsections we found several Articles that fit our needs best. The first was Article 1: Short Title; Definition; application; Certificates; Miscellaneous. This information gave us a general overview of what a Not-For-Profit corporation was all about.
The second was Article 2: corporate Purposes and Powers. This told us that there are four different types of corporations under No-For-Profit law and it helped to direct the reader towards the corporation they want to formulate. We shoes to incorporate a fishing organization with an educational basis. The purpose we chose under Article 2 was subsection 201-form 15 in West McKinneys Formbook, page 94. This is what gave Lets Go Fishing its credo of promotion the sport of fishing in all its aspects and to aid in the education, formulation and establishment of sound policies an practices designed to protect, conserve, restore and safely regulate the natural resources of our state.
Also from Wests McKinneys Form Book, we used under Article 4, subsection 402; Form 1; Certificate of Incorporation General form page 219. This was the outline for the Certificate of Incorporation that we filled out and sent with a check to the Department of State in Albany to file our corporation document. The third article that proved useful to us was Article 4: formation of corporations. This gave us the very specific information about the Incorporators and the contents of all documents required to be filed.
INCORPORATION. After the completion of the Certificate of Incorporation we had the incorporator (the authors) signature notarized and we sent off the certificate to the Department of State, State of New York in Albany. At the time we incorporated the fee was $50.00. Upon receipt of our Not-For-Profit Corporation filing receipt from the New York Department of State, division of Corporations and State Records in Albany, we were now officially recognized as a Not-For-Profit Association in New York titled Lets Go Fishing Association, Inc.
This lengthy process prevents anyone or any business in the State of New York from legally using the name lets Go Fishing for any purpose what so ever. Whether it is a business such as a tackle shop, fishing club or organized group, the name is exclusively the property of this organization and Im proud to say, our association.
WHATS NEXT. After receiving our certificate we asked for and received a SS-4 application for Employer Identification Number from the I.R.S. this is in order to get our Tax Payer I.D. Number from the I.R.S. this number is required to open a corporate bank or checking account. This number is the same as a social Security number. We filled out the form and sent it back and the ID number was granted and this was a free service.
In all, the process of incorporating our fishing club and reaching our goal cost $50.00 and roughly 12 hours of research and filling out forms, plus the postage for mailings. Ask any lawyer what he would charge for 12 hours work, phone calls and postage along with the $50.00 filing fee. I think youll find that we save quite a bit of money and we were justly rewarded in our efforts.
CONCLUSION. We now have a fishing association that does very good work, raises money for organizations like Send-A-Kid fishing and has a good member base of anglers with the same interests. We incorporated a Sportfishing and Resource Education Program (SAREP) division for youngsters in our association back 1991 and I am now in the process of setting up a surf fishing division of the club.
We have taught many anglers the basics of fly fishing, have been very closely involved with the DECs Urban Angling Program and many of our members have actively participated in the DECs Cold water and Warm Water Diary Program. Hopefully, youll be able to use the information provided in this article as a starting point for incorporating your ideas and dreams.