STARTING YOUR OWN FISHING
CLUB & INCORPORATE ON YOUR OWN
Johnson & Heather Sussman
There are a
great variety of fishing clubs across Long Island and many of them are very good in what
they do and stand for. Many of them are environmentally aware, have high standards, raise
dollars for an assortment of charities and for the most part they do good work.
This is a
story of how we started the not-for-profit association, Lets Go Fishing, back in
1990. By no means should this article be interpreted as legal advice, but is meant to
simply explain the steps we took in setting up and incorporating a fishing club. In this
case a non-for-profit organization, without the hassle or expense of hiring an attorney
and it took a less time as well.
There are a few things to consider when deciding what kind of organization to create.
Should we incorporate? Should it be profit or not-for-profit? Should it be an
educationally based organization or a social club? If you incorporate, who will sit on the
board as the clubs first directors? These were some of the ideas kicked around
before we decided on a not-for-profit, education based association. Now that we had a
general, yet somewhat detailed idea of what we wanted to do, it was time for the leg
THE BOOKS. As with any homework assignment, hitting the books is the key to success.
In this case of self-imposed homework, the next logical step was to go to the law library.
We made up our mind from the start not to incorporate any lengthy or expensive lawyer
negotiations. We were going to do this on our own!
for the law library in the Supreme Court building in Mineola to begin our search. You dont
have to be a lawyer to gain access to this building or its books. It is open to the
general public for research on the premises and none of the books may be removed for home
use. You can also check with local college and public libraries to see if they possess a
set of these law books.
BOOKS. There are two sets of books that we needed to use, with one particular volume
from each set that provided us with the necessary information. The first set of law books
are the McKinneys Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated and the second set is Wests
In the McKinneys consolidated Laws of New York
Annotated we looked at book #37, Not-For-Profit Corporation Law. In Wests McKinneys
Forms set, we looked for the book, Forms, Not-For-Profit Corporation Law. Look for Article
4, (Formation of Corporation) sub section 402, form 1, and page 219 that is the general
form for Certificate of Incorporation. This gave us the information and outline of the
Certificate of Incorporation need to be filed with the Secretary of State for the State of
CHOICES. Our research of the information provided in book # 37, directed us o the many
Articles of Not-for-Profit law. Searching through many Articles and subsections we found
several Articles that fit our needs best. The first was Article 1: Short Title;
Definition; application; Certificates; Miscellaneous. This information gave us a general
overview of what a Not-For-Profit corporation was all about.
was Article 2: corporate Purposes and Powers. This told us that there are four different
types of corporations under No-For-Profit law and it helped to direct the reader towards
the corporation they want to formulate. We shoes to incorporate a fishing organization
with an educational basis. The purpose we chose under Article 2 was subsection 201-form 15
in West McKinneys Formbook, page 94. This is what gave Lets Go Fishing its
credo of promotion the sport of fishing in all its aspects and to aid in the
education, formulation and establishment of sound policies an practices designed to
protect, conserve, restore and safely regulate the natural resources of our state.
Wests McKinneys Form Book, we used under Article 4, subsection 402; Form 1;
Certificate of Incorporation General form page 219. This was the outline for the
Certificate of Incorporation that we filled out and sent with a check to the Department of
State in Albany to file our corporation document. The third article that proved useful to
us was Article 4: formation of corporations. This gave us the very specific information
about the Incorporators and the contents of all documents required to be filed.
After the completion of the Certificate of Incorporation we had the incorporator (the
authors) signature notarized and we sent off the certificate to the Department of
State, State of New York in Albany. At the time we incorporated the fee was $50.00. Upon
receipt of our Not-For-Profit Corporation filing receipt from the New York Department of
State, division of Corporations and State Records in Albany, we were now officially
recognized as a Not-For-Profit Association in New York titled Lets Go Fishing
process prevents anyone or any business in the State of New York from legally using the
name lets Go Fishing for any purpose what so ever. Whether it is a
business such as a tackle shop, fishing club or organized group, the name is exclusively
the property of this organization and Im proud to say, our association.
NEXT. After receiving our certificate we asked for and received a SS-4 application for
Employer Identification Number from the I.R.S. this is in order to get our Tax Payer I.D.
Number from the I.R.S. this number is required to open a corporate bank or checking
account. This number is the same as a social Security number. We filled out the form and
sent it back and the ID number was granted and this was a free service.
the process of incorporating our fishing club and reaching our goal cost $50.00 and
roughly 12 hours of research and filling out forms, plus the postage for mailings. Ask any
lawyer what he would charge for 12 hours work, phone calls and postage along with the
$50.00 filing fee. I think youll find that we save quite a bit of money and we were
justly rewarded in our efforts.
We now have a fishing association that does very good work, raises money for organizations
like Send-A-Kid fishing and has a good member base of anglers with the same interests. We
incorporated a Sportfishing and Resource Education Program (SAREP) division for youngsters
in our association back 1991 and I am now in the process of setting up a surf fishing
division of the club.
taught many anglers the basics of fly fishing, have been very closely involved with the
DECs Urban Angling Program and many of our members have actively participated in the
DECs Cold water and Warm Water Diary Program. Hopefully, youll be able to use
the information provided in this article as a starting point for incorporating your ideas