General Category > Homebrew Clubs

Club legal status

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stevej:
We recently held our first homebrew competition, and during registration we received checks made out to our club name (State of Franklin Homebrewers). Today when we tried to deposit them into our 'club account', which is actually someones secondary personal account with me as a secondary, the credit union would not allow us to deposit those checks. Something about looking like checks made out to a business.
They recommended we open a 'Doing Business As' account, which is still a personal account, but marked as DBA <clubname> and is subject to the same reporting as all accounts. This seems to imply that an 'individual' is doing business under that name, and may lead to questions by the IRS.
So how do other clubs do this? I've looked around on the site, and have seen a couple of articles about club financials, but it would seem to me that there would be a fairly standard process that the AHA could document and recommend for clubs. Would that be incorporation, registration as a non-profit, or something else? Some of those processes seem like an awful lot to go thru just to be able to deposit checks made out to <clubname>.

Does anyone have any profound revelations that they'd like to share? How do you all handle this problem?

denny:
Steve, I'll ask out "treasurer" how we deal with it.  I do know that we're neither incorporated nor listed as non profit, but that's about all I know.

Beertracker:
Hey Steve!  You should check with the state of TN, but I'd recommend getting your club set-up as an non-profit organization (NPO) because you're bringing in revenue(s) e.g. comp fees, membership, etc... which could definitely lead to Q's from the IRS. Individual banking institutions are different, but you don't necessarily have to be incorporated to open a DBA account. There's usually a small fee attached with doing such which might be the reason your credit union is trying to "upsell" you one. Our club uses a simple/economy business checking account which requires the current &/or past president + treasurer's signature required for withdrawals over $100.00. We accept checks with the club's full or partial name and/or acronym, but cannnot accept checks made out to specific individuals within the organization. I'd check with your finacial institution, as you may be able to change the parameters of your current account to accept these checks. If not, opening a new DBA or small no-interest account after getting your club's status changed to an NPO would be the way to go. Hope this helps?  ???             

joelambic:
Our club is set up with the state as a not-for-profit organization and - I believe - with the IRS as a 501(c)(7).

MDixon:
We set up our club as a business with the state (NC) as a nonprofit corporation. We also have a Tax ID #. Our checking account is just that with zero savings and interest. We've thought about filing the paperwork to be a nonprofit with the Feds but have not seen how that would benefit us.

Here's our state incorporation document, that might help. (I don't mind showing it since I ain't on it!)
http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations/Filings.aspx?PItemId=5264257#

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