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Assistance With Forming A State Association – Bylaws (Template)

Early we discussed the importance of creating state associations when none exist in your area. We supplied a basic outline (available here) for the beginning steps for forming an association to help you get started. No we will discuss association bylaws.

If you want to start a particular type of business association or help operate one, you must have bylaws that correspond to your plans for association activities. Bylaws define all aspects of the association and can be restrictive or more general. Depending on its bylaws, a business association can welcome a broad variety of businesses or limit itself to a specific type. The key is to make sure the bylaws match the goals of the members.


Bylaws must define a purpose for the business association and give its name. If you’re not sure what roles the association will play, you can include very broad goals, such as promoting the business interests of its members. If the association is to have a narrow and clearly defined purpose, you have to put it in the bylaws to make sure the association fulfills its proposed mandate. A particular purpose might be to raise money for benevolent organizations or to publicize a particular aspect of your town.


Members govern the association, and bylaws must clearly indicate who can be a member, how members are chosen, what is acceptable behavior for a member and how members may be expelled. Some business associations are open to any business within a given geographical region, while others accept only small businesses, retail businesses or businesses selling a particular type of product. The bylaws set down whether members pay a fee and if they have other obligations, such as attending a minimum number of meetings.


Association members usually elect directors to operate the association for them. The bylaws specify who can be a director, how the members elect them, their responsibilities and obligations, how members or other directors can remove them and how meetings of the board of directors operate. Bylaws may state whether the directors can borrow money in the name of the association and impose limits on the amount and on what they can spend. Your bylaws have to let the directors operate the association smoothly but reserve major decision to the membership.

Other Topics

Other bylaw sections may define additional aspects of the association. Some bylaws deal with the appointment and duties of officers, such as president, treasurer and secretary. If there is a specific activity that the association has to carry out, bylaws often specify that a committee is responsible. There has to be a section dealing with amendments to the bylaws and another set of clauses regarding accounting or bookkeeping procedures. Finally, every association has to have clauses detailing how the association may dissolve itself, and specifying how the association will dispose of any assets prior to dissolution.

Repo Buzz has been graciously provided a sample set of bylaws specifically written for a repossession association. This bylaw template should be used as an example and edited and corrected to fit your specific association’s needs.

To receive a copy of the bylaws template, please email your request using the form below.

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