I'm hoping that a number of friends will chime in here to let me have some good advice. As some of you know, I'm not from the US system of things, I'm from the UK and I struggle with the way things are here on a daily basis when I'm dealing with the US way of thinking. When I got here, I realised I was in a fix, cars were on the other side of the road and the biggest truck had the right of way even over pedestrians, light switches went the other way, switches generally were the other way meaning I'd be switching things off that should have been on and things on that should never ever be turned on. It goes on, I have come across many physical and cultural things that are simply "the other way up" like its the mirror image of my homeland, including technical drawings which are in the opposite projection. So I seem to be from some strange mirror image world in lots of things.
I have been looking at starting a secular group and have had permission from my old friend in the UK to set up a twin club/US chapter of the BFHS Glamorgan School of Arms. The site is here, but it needs more population with our info. More arriving soon. https://sites.google.com/site/glamorganschoolofarmsusa/
We have run into lots of technical problems with inane local juntas, the legislation freaks who have proven to be inscrutable in their thinking. So I have to come to you guys and hope to squeeze some information from you, those who have had to go through a similar set up process.
We are setting up a private club, and we are not taking lesson or session fees. We are hoping to charge an annual membership fee only, which in WA state is code 136 E (Exempt) as a taxable service. So our annual memberships will fund the groups activity, we still plan to keep full account books, a petty cash box, and a bank account for the deposit of cheques.
So we don't have to register it as a business...I believe anyway to the best of the information I have, because it fails the benchmark:
1) doesn't sell taxable goods or services to consumers
2) doesn't expect to earn more than 12k per year
3) will not have employees within 90 days
4) will not use a name different to the owner or corporation name.
4 might be a problem, but thinking about it, Glamorgan School of Arms isn't the owner's name as a CLUB doesn't have an owner, right? Or am I getting this wrong? So the club is an entity apart from me or anyone else?
This really seems to deviate from the Dojo model where there's a Master charging lesson fees and this is then private income for the master's school, of which he is the owner.
I guess "Sole proprietor" and "LLC" seem to be the popular models for the Dojo's I've come across. Can the CLUB model work as an unregistered entity for HEMA ? Or is 501(c) 3 the best route, or even 501 (c) 7 (Social Recreational Clubs)?
For someone from the outside, just figuring out the basics is incredibly frustrating.
Any advice from established organisers much appreciated.