urgent Notice to all
Section 7 of ASHI’s Policy Manual outlines the mandatory requirements to become and remain a chapter in good standing. Please read it. Why do we have these policies?
- Incorporation helps protect your chapter directors, officers and members from many legal actions. It also helps protect ASHI. Directors, officers and members of unincorporated chapters may be personally liable in a legal action against the chapter. ALL ASHI CHAPTERS MUST BE INCORPORATED AS A NON-PROFIT IN THEIR STATE OF OPERATION.
- In addition to being incorporated, a chapter must have a FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) and complete IRS Form 1023 “Application for Recognition of Exemption”. If your chapter does not have this recognition, your revenue could be taxable by federal, state and local agencies.
- Sending in your financial statements to ASHI by December 31 of each year, plus being incorporated, protects your chapter on ASHI’s $1 Million Dollar D&O (Directors and Officers) umbrella insurance for your chapter at no charge to the chapter.
- Policy Manual Section 7.3 states that to be a chapter you must have at least ten (10) ASHI members representing at least five (5) different inspection businesses.
WHAT YOU MUST DO
To start a new chapter and to renew chapter status, every chapter must comply with Policy Manual reporting requirements by December 31, 2018 and each year thereafter. We are here to help:
- We have an outside organization that will incorporate or renew your incorporation for approximately $150 to $200. If you need or want help, we can do this for you or you can use a local attorney. Contact Bonnie Bruno-Castaneda at headquarters for information. Bonnieb@ashi.org or 847.954.3177. Note: Incorporation in most states expires after ”X” years. Check with your Secretary of State regarding current status.
- Obtaining an IRS FEIN number is simple and easy. Go to https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online. Click on “Apply Online Now” and complete the form. This takes about 10-15 minutes. Note: if your chapter has not filed a tax return (form 990) in the past 3 years, your FEIN number has expired and must be re-instated and your tax-exempt status too.
- Go to https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1023.pdf and download IRS form 1023. Even though it is 26 pages there are only a few you need to complete. Contact Tim Buell for help at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614.746.7485.
- For financial reporting and record keeping, we suggest using QuickBooksPro. It can be connected to your bank for downloading bank and credit card transactions for easy posting. It’s $199 at Amazon.
- For CoR representation, ASHI headquarters must have your current roster by December 31st of each year.
- If you have not sent us your Chapter Bylaws, or if you have amended them since you last sent them to us, you must send Bonnie a copy of your Chapter Bylaws and all future amendments.
If your chapter does not have ten members OR if the members prefer not to be a chapter, there is an alternative: become a Meeting Group (MG). What are the requirements for a Meeting Group? Section 7.2 states:
1. A MG shall be defined as a group of ASHI members, the purpose of which is to provide education to its members, or for COR representation.
2. A MG may be formed as a precursor to forming an ASHI chapter or as a permanent independent group.
3. A MG shall have at least three (3) members representing at least two (2) different inspection businesses.
4. A MG shall have a group leader and an assistant group leader.
5. A MG is not an ASHI chapter, shall not identify itself as such, and shall not publicly promote itself and its members using ASHI intellectual property.
6. A MG shall not request or accept dues or money, except to defray actual out-of-pocket expenses, shall not establish a bank account, shall not incorporate, and shall not engage in other activities that are reserved to ASHI chapters.
7. A MG shall be entitled to COR representation as specified in the ASHI Bylaws.
8. ASHI members who propose to form a new MG shall submit a written application to both the ASHI staff and to the CRC chair. This application shall include:
a. a list of ASHI members who will be members of the proposed MG, and
b. acknowledgement of the MG viability policies.
9. The CRC shall review the proposed MG’s application to determine if the proposed MG complies with the requirements to form a new MG, and to determine if forming the proposed MG is in the best interest of ASHI, and of ASHI members.
10. The CRC may recommend that the ASHI Board approve or deny the proposed MG.
11. The ASHI Board may approve one of the options by majority vote, and may impose conditions.
There are, however, important disadvantages to solely being a MG. This includes:
- You are not eligible for ASHI’s Chapter D&O Umbrella insurance.
- You do not have the liability protection that a corporation has.
- You are not exempt from the IRS, state, and local taxing agencies.
By joining a chapter, meeting groups (MG) may receive chapter protection and still function as a meeting group. Therefore, consider becoming a part of the nearest chapter.
Whichever one you choose, your members can still have meetings, COR representation, enjoy all of ASHI’s benefits, and conduct educational programs while creating/continuing camaraderie and friendships with colleagues.
The entire ASHI Policy Manual can be found at http://www.ashi.org/policy
If you have any questions, please contact Bonnie Bruno-Castaneda at Bonnieb@ashi.org or 847.954.3177. Please give this matter your full and immediate attention.