Can a minor start a non-profit? Do i need any licenses to solicit money or fund raise after i am a registered non-profit?

Asked over 1 year ago - Danvers, MA

The charity would be in Massachusetts.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Douglas Richard Lloyd Jr.

    Contributor Level 11

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . What a great question. Let me start off by commending you on your enthusiasm and commitment to charity.

    Now for the bad news. Legally, a minor cannot be an "incorporator" (basically, a legally-recognized founder) of a corporation, whether for-profit or non-profit. This is because minors lack the legal capacity to enter into contracts, not to mention the fact that they are not even of age to file the proper documentation with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. (Massachusetts law requires all incorporators to be 18 years of age or older) This is the legal hurdle that gets in the way of your proposal.

    If your parents are supportive of this endeavor, they may be willing to incorporate the organization on your behalf and then basically follow your will when it comes to leading the organization. Again, legally, you cannot serve as a director or officer of the organization formally. If you are close to age 18, now would be a great time to sketch out a business plan and discuss your planned charitable endeavors with those who will benefit from your work. That way, you can hit the ground running and file for incorporation when you turn 18. Good luck!

    Douglas Lloyd is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Answers provided on Avvo are... more
  2. Helen Partlow

    Contributor Level 5

    Answered . Unfortunately you have be 18+ in order to legally sign contracts. If a minor signs a contract, it can be voidable because technically under the law you lacked the capacity to enter into such agreements.

    But it sounds like you are a commendable young person and I encourage you to seek action once you turn of age.

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