Hello and thank you for taking the time to read,
I am a minor (17 years of age) in the great state of Minnesota. I started an organization my sophomore year with a few friends to increase engagement in the community among teenagers through fundraising events.
I'm aware that in Minnesota I am an unable to incorporate at the age of 17 in Minnesota. I am wondering if I were to get my parents to sign for me what would happen next?
Am I able to serve as the president of the organization officially?
Can I be a board member?
Are there any other age requirements I should be aware of if my goal is to be a 501(c)3 and be the chief executive officer, and the president?
Our mission statement reads, "Getting kids active in their communities through programs and fundraisers that engage their interests." My personal goal for all of high school has always been to grow the organization to the point where being a 501(c)3 makes sense, and recently our fundraising efforts have been successful enough that I think it does.
If you're wanting to find more information about what my organization has been doing, here's a link to our website, goals4change.org.
Good on you for getting so involved! This is an interesting question, and frankly I had to look it up. In answering, I am making one assumption; namely that you will form a 317A Nonprofit. If so, then yes, you are able to serve as the president/ceo provided the Bylaws allow for an officer to be a minor and the board appoints you. See Minnesota Statute Section 317A.301 (the only requirement is that you are a "natural person" ie. not a corp, partnership, llc or other entity). Because you and your parents are forming the non-profit, I would think that you have some control over the language of the Bylaws. The board member position is a little more complicated. Yes, you can be a board member, PROVIDED THAT you have two other board members who are adults. See Minnesota Statute See 317A.205. The rule is that minors can be on the board so long as the majority of the board members are adults. As to your other question, I would say you need to read Chapter 317A and the IRS 501C3 Application Instructions.
The previous answer is detailed and on point in this instance. I am concerned about having your parents "sign for" you. Are you implying that your parents will register the company and list you as a minor head of the nonprofit organization? A more straightforward process could be to have your parents incorporate the organization and create Bylaws and other necessary documents, listing you as an officer. Since it complicates liability issues when you are a minor, ownership and related issues that may expose you to suits are problematic. Are able to postpone these legal issues until you are 18? Sometimes, even with a great idea as yours, a little patience might serve better than complicating matters. What if you have a legal issue regarding use of funds and more?
Best wishes to you.
This is not a legal advice as I do not have an attorney-client privilege with you. You should retain a lawyer before acting on any generally available advice.
The board could employ you subject to any limitations on employment of a minor. But whether you can bond the corporation I would think to be a problem
The previous answers are technically correct, but for me they do not give a complete answer. I would recommend you explore all aspects in any business or organization formation, which were not addressed in your initial questions
In forming a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, it is best to have at least 5 or 7 directors to convince the IRS that it is a charitable organization. By statute a majority of the directors have to be adults. For you to be elected president and CEO, a majority of the directors would have to elect you to fill those roles. Each director is charged with the responsibility of making a sound business decision in good faith, in a manner the director reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the corporation, and with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would exercise under similar circumstances.
I question whether that standard of care would be met in electing a minor to lead the non-profit, since you as a minor could disaffirm any contract you enter into after you reach the age a majority. What would that mean for the contracts, obligations and undertaking you would commit the non-profit to undertake? Would a reasonably prudent director determine you should be able to the same thing for the non-profit that you are not legally able to do on your own?
If the mission is well planned and motivated, why couldn't you find the adults needed to fill the needed board positions and assume the officer positions required. Why is it important that you hold the titles and have the power to control the day to day operations of the non-profit, especially if you can you accomplish your objectives without the titles and control?
If you have not done so already, start developing your business plan to the organization, focusing on the mission, needs, funding and means to fulfill the mission requirements in the next year, 3 years, 5 years and 10 years. How does the organization grow and carry out its mission. What roles can you and should you fill today and in the years to come. What is the succession plan for you and any other key players in the organization?
I would recommend that you meet with an attorney experienced in forming, qualifying and working with charitable, non-profit organizations. Based on your age and the mission you want to purdue, you should be able to get that first meeting and perhaps at lot more at a reduced or no cost. Good luck, and keep your heart open to the needs of others.
Not sure how this question ended up under this topic area (sex crime in MN), so i will move it. Good luck and congrats on being involved in your community!
Hello. Yes, it is possible generally and hypothetically for a minor child to be an officer in a corporation and it happens infrequently: If you were hypothetically to do do, know that my reply is simplistic & there are many details going unstated - do confer with your own chosen att'y and she can give you all detail as to your personal situation.
Becoming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is not 'simple': The entity must qualify for this status and there is an application process.
I urge you to have att'y assistance - choose her/him carefully.
Urge: Beware 'free advice', especially with your sorts of concerns.
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL - ST CLOUD. This law firm may accept avvo posters as clients but this post is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post is to be considered general information which may or may not apply to your personal situation. Please do seek private attorney counsel as to your personal legal issues and needs.
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