is concerning Incorporation and the Volunteer
Protection Act of 1997
and how it relates to ARES and other Volunteer groups especially in
- The VPA ONLY protects individuals
a "NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION" as described by the Internal Revenue Code of
1986 (501c) Section and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such
- The Individual must always act in good
removes the exemption.
- VPA does not supercede State Tort Laws,
Law applies where VPA is silent, Louisiana does grant a LIMITED
protection under LRS 9:2792 et seq.
- The definition of Non-profit entity here
a non-profit corporation located out of state and not registered in
since there is not any registered agent or certificate of Secretary of
State, while it is legal for the Group to solict membership and hold
here, any activity could be held to be "The Conduction of Business".
Local Tort law is not waived, it could be held that a valid Non-profit
Corporate Status does not exist for any Out of State Group in Louisiana
as it relates to Volunteer Activities.
The basic problem here is how to achieve
under the VPA? In the ARRL Field Forum issue of July-September 1997
a discussion was held as to these
Volunteers should not assume they'll be automatically covered, there
some loopholes and several criteria must be met for coverage:
- Volunteer working without
- Member of a "qualified" Non-Profit
Corporation meeting Section (501a&c) standards.
- Good faith Performance.
It may seem crass to worry about liability, but
unexpected accident can lead to everyone present at an event to be sued
and with no defense, an innocent volunteer could be a victim of his or
her own kindness.
It is simple matter to form a Non-profit
Louisiana, and it could potentially outweigh the cost (usually $90.) By
forming a Local Nonprofit Corporation, worries about protection are
however, all groups and clubs who aare Nonprofit shoud be careful to
their paperwork in order as to avoid a lapse in corporate existance.
steps are simple:
- Obtain a Federal Employer Number
the IRS by filing an SS-4 Form.
- Hold an Organizational meeting and decide
on the Officers
and Organization. Obtain the Incorporation forms here or if you are not
in Louisiana, obtain competent legal assistance.
- File the incorporation papers with the
State, POB 94125, Baton Rouge, LA 70804 along with a $60.00 Filing Fee.
File the certified copy you recieved with 30 days with the Clerk of
in your Parish.
- If you collect over $2,500 per year in
must apply for IRS 501(c)3 status for coantributions to your group to
- Keep good records and serve the public.