Getting a Guild Set Up

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GETTING A GUILD SET UP:

REGISTERING AS A NONPROFIT

Depending on where you are in the world, your state, federal, or territorial government will have a method to register your new guild as a not-for-profit. This formalizes the organization, allowing it to exist as a stand-alone entity, to have a bank account and post-office box, and obtain insurance apart from the MQG. Depending on the tax scheme of the area, formalizing the organizational structure may allow you to issue tax receipts for donations.

 

NOT FOR PROFIT REGISTRATION - FOR U.S. BASED GUILDS:

After you pay your dues for the first time, you will apply for inclusion in the MQG’s 501(c)(3) group exemption. Find the form to submit your paperwork on the Membership Dashboard of any of your registered guild officers. In order to complete this application, you will want to comply with the sections that follow.

 

What is 501(c)(3) status?

Many nonprofits apply for tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and/or their state. This means an organization does not pay corporate income tax on the income generated from charitable activities. It also means that donations to the organization may be tax-deductible to the donor. These groups are often called 501(c)(3)s, because that refers to the federal tax code designation.

 

One major benefit to becoming a U.S. based member guild of the MQG is participating in the group exemption with the IRS. This means that without applying individually, you will be able to benefit from having 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. A group exemption relationship means that you are required to file your own taxes and operate as an independent organization, but are part of the MQG’s umbrella status.

In order to be listed under the group exemption, you must have the following:

  • A fiscal year that matches the MQG’s fiscal year, running January 1 to December 31 

  • Your bylaws must contain specific language outlined in the bylaws section (link to “Creating Bylaws” section)

  • An Employer Identification Number

  • A guild-specific bank account

  • Elected officers

 

REGISTERING FOR AN EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER - U.S. BASED GUILDS

U.S. guilds are required to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for tax purposes. You don’t actually need to be an employer to get an EIN! You get an EIN to identify your guild as an entity with the IRS. You will need an EIN to open a bank account to keep your guild funds separated from an individual's personal bank account.

AN EIN can be obtained for free from the IRS here: (https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online)

To fill out the form you will need some basic information:

  • The formal name of your guild
  • A mailing address (Most guilds either get a PO Box or use the home address of one of the guild officers. This address can be changed if that member ever changes their status with your guild.)
  • Social Security Number for one of your guild officers

 

When filling out the online form, you will want to choose “Other Non-Profit/Tax-Exempt Organization” as the organization type when you begin the application. This section is under “additional types.”

Once you file the form, the IRS will populate a letter with your new Tax ID information. Keep a copy of this document in a safe place such as a Google Drive or DropBox, wherever your guild keeps its important financial documents.

 

NOT FOR PROFIT REGISTRATION - FOR NON - U.S. BASED GUILDS:

For Canadian Based Guilds:

For Canadian guilds, each province registers not-for-profit organizations separately, and you will need to work with your province to understand the requirements. Canada makes a distinction between not-for-profit and charitable status for organizations. Registering as a not-for-profit organization should be your first step, as it forms the basis for your organization. This alone will not allow you to issue tax receipts for donations to the guild, as that requires you to be registered charity with Revenue Canada. Further information will be available with your provincial government and on the Revenue Canada website.

For Australian Based Guilds:

For Australian guilds, each state registers incorporated associations separately, and you will need to register with the state. Running an incorporated association is a simple and more affordable means of creating a separate legal entity for local guilds. Further information for each state is listed below:

 

State/territory

Authority

Web address

Australian Capital Territory

Access Canberra

www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au

New South Wales

Office of Fair Trading

www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Northern Territory

Consumer and Business Affairs

www.justice.nt.gov.au

Queensland

Office of Fair Trading

www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au

South Australia

Consumer and Business Services

www.cbs.sa.gov.au

Tasmania

Office of Consumer Affairs & Fair Trading

www.consumer.tas.gov.au

Victoria

Consumer Affairs

www.consumer.vic.gov.au

Western Australia

Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

www.commerce.wa.gov.au/


All other International Guilds:

A simple Google search for incorporation or registration of a non-profit or a not for profit society should provide details on what you might need.

 

PO BOXES AND MAILING ADDRESSES

Your official address can be a PO Box, or an individual officer's home address. This will be the address listed on bank accounts, tax information, and guild contact forms.

If you choose to get a PO Box, set it up closest to whomever will be responsible for checking the box on a regular basis. You can get an application for a PO Box at usps.com (for U.S. Based guilds) or by visiting your local Post Office. Prices and availability of boxes varies by location. When applying for a PO Box you will need two forms of identification: one photo and one non-photo. Those can include:

  • Driver’s License or State ID
  • Armed Forces, government, university, or recognized corporate ID
  • Passport or Passport Card
  • Current Lease, Mortgage, or Deed of Trust
  • Voter or Vehicle Registration
  • Home or Vehicle Insurance Policy

You may want to designate additional individuals to be able to pick up packages from your PO Box. These individuals will need to be able to present a valid Photo ID when picking up the packages and be on the pre-approved list.

 

 

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