Not-for-Profit Law

A non-profit organization (abbreviated as NPO, also known as a not-for-profit organization) is an organization that does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders, but instead uses them to help pursue its goals. Examples of NPOs include charities (i.e. charitable organizations), trade unions, and public arts organizations. Most governments and government agencies meet this definition, but in most countries they are considered a separate type of organization and not counted as NPOs. They are in most countries exempt from income and property taxation.

There is a wide diversity of structures and purposes in the NPO landscape. For legal classification and eventual scrutiny, there are, nevertheless, some structural elements of prime legal importance: 

  • Economic activity
  • Supervision and management provisions
  • Representation
  • Accountability and Auditing provisions
  • Provisions for the amendment of the statutes or articles of incorporation
  • Provisions for the dissolution of the entity
  • Tax status of corporate and private donors
  • Tax status of the foundation

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