Chapters are businesses
In 2009, GEAPS launched a plan to ensure that all chapter leaders and chapters, themselves as organizations, would be protected against potential legal and tax liability. GEAPS established several guidelines and best practices for chapters to follow in order to make them legitimate, legal enterprises. This process involved many things.
Chapters signed the Chapter License & Affiliation Agreement
This document outlines and formalizes the relationship between Intl GEAPS and chapters. It sets forth mutual obligations, chapter requirements and establishes rules for GEAPS name and logo usage. The agreement outlines that chapters will do the following each year:
Submit a chapter meeting schedule by Sept 1
Hold and report at least three business meetings each year
Report election results to the GEAPS Office by June 1
Complete a financial report by Aug 1
Chapters are incorporated
This means each chapter is a business, an entity; it stands on its own, separate from its leaders. Each chapter was incorporated as a nonprofit in the state or province where it’s located. Annual or biennial reports are required to maintain a chapter’s corporate status. GEAPS will file these for each chapter.
Chapters have a legal address
GEAPS obtained a legal address or “registered agent” for each chapter. This is a physical address in each chapter’s state or province that was required for each chapter’s incorporation. This address is for legal purposes only; chapters should not have bank statements or other chapter correspondence sent there. Chapter Secretaries have this address on file. Permanent records are also kept at the GEAPS Office.
Chapters have a tax ID or business number
Similar to a social security number, a tax ID or business number is your chapter’s identification number. These numbers should be on your bank accounts.
Chapters are tax exempt
GEAPS has secured a group exemption for all chapters. Chapters qualify for tax exemption because of their nonprofit purpose. Being tax exempt does not exempt chapters from all taxes; it exempts chapters from paying federal income tax. Unlike charitable organizations, GEAPS chapters are not exempt from paying sales tax and chapters cannot accept charitable donations. Chapters must file a tax return annually – GEAPS will handle this for each chapter.
Chapter leaders are protected by liability insurance
All chapters will be added to the group Directors and Officers liability insurance policy. This coverage protects chapter leaders as they’re acting in their roles as leaders. It is a smart business decision to carry this protection. GEAPS pays the premium.