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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Setting up a Homebrew Club
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:08 PM   #1
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Default Setting up a Homebrew Club

So my friends and I want to start up our own little homebrew club. It's really more of an 'adult fraternity' type of thing than a beer club, except that most of us brew and everyone drinks homebrew.

Has anyone gone through the hassle of setting up a club, signing up as a corporation, filing for tax exempt club status (501c7), and all that jazz?

just looking at the laws regarding what you can do as a 'club' and tax law crap ...it's giving my brain a serious hurting.

Anyone who's done it - can you give me some pointers?

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Old 01-10-2008, 02:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jezter6
So my friends and I want to start up our own little homebrew club. It's really more of an 'adult fraternity' type of thing than a beer club, except that most of us brew and everyone drinks homebrew.

Has anyone gone through the hassle of setting up a club, signing up as a corporation, filing for tax exempt club status (501c7), and all that jazz?

just looking at the laws regarding what you can do as a 'club' and tax law crap ...it's giving my brain a serious hurting.

Anyone who's done it - can you give me some pointers?
A bunch of friends getting together to brew and drink do not need a great deal of paperwork.

If you are attempting to sponsor events, fundraise etc that would be another thing. Maybe contact one of the national HB associations for advice.
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:48 AM   #3
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I'd just have a treasurer that keeps books. Its nice to have a seperate bank acct with a couple hundred bucks from dues, etc, etc. It can go towards tasting cups at meetings, events, website costs, etc etc.

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Old 01-10-2008, 05:37 AM   #4
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You right now are part of a Home Brew Club. HomeBrew Talk is a national Homebrew club. You right now are part of the largest HB club in the country. We even have sub-chapters like SNIZZLE comma GRABASS commma and SEWAGE.

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Old 01-10-2008, 01:36 PM   #5
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I know that I am 'part' of this club. I paid for my membership because I wanted to be in a CLUB.

Now, I have no problems having a subchapter, however we are more interested in this from other angles.

Yes, we want to drink/make beer and have fun. Yes, we want to have fundraising events for the club. Eventually, we would like to have a nice clubhouse where we can sit and drink homebrew, watch the football game, and smoke a nice cigar. Sort of like the American Legion, without all the politics.

The club would be more 'exclusive' in nature, but would provide greater benefit to members than just some random clubs in the area.

I think it's more about fraternal fellowship than "oh, we're just a homebrew club".

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Old 01-10-2008, 03:04 PM   #6
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I've only done for-profit companies, but based on conversations with local club officers, the tax-exempt angle is the toughest part. The requirements & paperwork to maintain that status is a royal pain. You have to apply for and maintain that status at both the federal and state level. There may also be local requirements.

I highly recommend buying a Nolo book as a starting place: "How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation" I've used their books as a guides to setting up my current company and managing my importing. My partner successfully obtained a patent using another Nolo book.

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Old 01-10-2008, 07:08 PM   #7
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some things to consider when forming a club:

>beyond brewing and consuming beer what are the goals of the club. education, sharing knowledge, social events, interaction with other clubs etc

>will you be charging club dues. if you even think that in the future you might have to/want to to cover costs - start out the club that way. don't open a bank account for it. find someone in the club hand with accounting, and trustworthy, to keep track of incoming monies and basically keep them in their posession until needed. what would you use money for? club events, schwag, etc. i would also not over complicate things by forming a nonprofit org. there's not need to go tax exempt imo as long as someone is holding the money bag personally.

>what kind of structure are you wanting to create? rules regulations, et al. will the club be governed by a set of documents that apply to each member? or will it just be a willy nilly gathering of ppl come together to drink beer.

>growth: what are your expectations as your club grows? certainly it might be just a tight knit group of your buds who brew but sooner or later you will face the "new members" aspect.

>electing officials: the more you grow the more you'll want to deligate specific responsibilities.

>befriend local micros and become involved with their promotional efforts. it will cement a bond between your club and the micro and will net you a lot of added benefits.

>talk to niche shop owners and see about arranging educational meetings when they demonstrate their wares. and then encorporate them into your beers or along with your beers. for instance we will be having a meeting at a local coffee roaster. he is going to show us the proper way to prepare coffee, roast it, grind it. and then we're going to do a coffee beer challenge.

>keep things interesting. issue occasional challenge beers. pick a common ingredient/style/adjunct ect and have everyone brew to that. then vote on who's beer is the best of that challenge and even give out awards of some nature.

our club has trippled in size from it's humble beginnings. i thouroughly enjoy being a member and look forward to each and every monthly meeting.

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