Regional Club Formation

Planning for...
Regional Bernese Mountain Dog Club Formation


One of the early priorities of a regional club should be to become incorporated. There are two reasons for incorporation. One is for income tax purposes and the other is liability. The very nature of the activities of dog organizations places them in a position to be sued or conversely to sue as a society. The national club urges incorporation for the protection of the officers and members of the regional club in the event of a lawsuit. Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised states, "A principal advantage in incorporating a society is that officers and members are protected from personal liability under obligations that may be incurred by the organization." In the event of a lawsuit, the assets of the club are at risk, not the personal assets of the officers and members.

For example, If someone at an unincorporated club's fun match slips and falls, every member can be held personally liable. Insurance coverage for an event is indeed protection and should be utilized by all clubs, whether incorporated or not. However, a lawsuit can be placed by the injured party to recover damages beyond those covered by insurance. Action taken as the result of enforcing a code of ethics is another source for potential problems. The legal ramifications are overwhelming.

A club's best protection is incorporation. It does require having a constitution and bylaws. If the AKC model has been followed, there should be few, if any changes needed. The wording of Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution, and Article VIII of the Bylaws is designed to meet income tax restrictions. The procedures for disciplining in Article VI are also for legal protection. A copy of the club's constitution and bylaws should be taken to a lawyer who will explain the legal requirements of that state for incorporation. Some changes or additions to a club's constitution and bylaws might be required by state laws.

- 1975 -
Top winning Bernese bitch
Kenet's Gaea Agrippina - BG #3161