An association law 1901 is an organization that operates on a non-profit basis. It therefore designates any associative structure that does not make a profit. As a result, no profit sharing is made between associates or members. It is the law of July 1, 1901 which defines the functioning of this legal status. The latter can be applied in several fields, whether sporting, cultural or humanitarian, etc. Anyone wishing to join an association can do so, regardless of nationality, age or skills. To constitute an association law 1901, the realization of certain administrative procedures is necessary.
What the law of July 1, 1901 says
Under the 1901 law, the creation of an association is notably an agreement between 2 or more people with a specific objective other than profit sharing. The partners then pool their activities, knowledge and skills on a permanent basis for the good functioning of the association. An association law 1901 therefore aims totally disinterested ends. The association can generate profits during its activity, but these cannot be shared among the associates. The constitution requires 2 essential key elements, in particular the pooling and the contractual agreement.
The functioning of an association 1901
The 1901 law regulates very little the functioning of an association. It is a fact that allows the founders to have a great freedom over administration and the organization of their association. The operating rules of the association are also to be provided for and to be included in its statute.
In an association under the 1901 law, the holding of a general assembly is not compulsory, unlike most of the statutes of companies. However, even with the absence of legal obligation, it is necessary to provide in the statute for a meeting of the assembly, to be held at least once a year. The modalities of this meeting must be stipulated and well defined in the statute, although these can be very flexible. This is an opportunity for the administrators to get to know each other and to consult the official members of the association.
It is also the opportune moment for the associates to vote and to fix the membership fees if there are any or to present the accounts to the granting organizations. For an association to function properly, it must be elect the officers. It will be up to them to make decisions, to ensure the proper functioning of the association in full respect of the statute.
In general, this office is composed of a president or a representative of the association, a general secretary who takes care of all the administrative tasks and a treasurer responsible for keeping the accounts of the structure. . These are just the basic board members, but it’s up to you possible to add other positions with more specific functions. However, the latter must be defined as soon as the association’s statute is drafted, with their respective roles to avoid any confusion.
It should be noted that in the absence of clarification of the role of the president in the statute, case law applies the public limited company rules. When the association proceeds with the integration of new members, it is advisable to have them fill out a membership form in due form.
The characteristics of a 1901 law association
To constitute an association under the 1901 law, certain conditions must be met. First of all, it is required that the association is made up of at least two people, in this case a president and a treasurer. The association must have a selfless objective, therefore other than profit sharing. Therefore, the activity must in no case enrich one of the members, either directly or indirectly. In order to have legal personality, the status of a 1901 association must be declared to the Prefecture. This must be published in an Official Journal, as for all companies.
The taxation of an association
Since an association does not aim to generate profits, it is usually exempt from commercial taxes. For those who carry out an economic activity, on the other hand, the association is liable for certain taxes. Some criteria therefore make it possible to define that an association has a lucrative aspect. First, it must be defined whether the association has competition in its associative economic activity. The modes of management and administration must be disinterested. A criterion which makes it possible to recognize that an association is for profit is also the evaluation of the total annual amount of the activity.
How to create an association ?
To create an association in France, the procedures are quite simplified. The step that takes the most time is the drafting of the statute and this is explained by its complexity. The creation of an association is done in 5 steps:
- the choice of the name of the association and its seat,
- the drafting of the statute of the association 1901,
- the designation of the office (with at least a president and a treasurer),
- the declaration of the association on the Public Service website, which can also be done by completing the Cerfa 13973 * 04 form,
- obtaining a SIRET number (if you want your association to benefit from subsidies).
The name of the association
First, it is necessary to determine the name of the association. Even if the organization is free to choose its name, whether it is a sports or cultural association, it is important to respect certain rules. The name chosen must not exceed 250 characters and care must be taken not to use a protected name or take the name of a legal person. The name must not be liable to lead to confusion, whether it is the name of a legal or natural person.
Drafting of the statute
Since an association enjoys contractual freedom, it is therefore important to write your statute carefully. It must stipulate the following mandatory information:
- the name of the association,
- the address of the registered office,
- the object or scope of action,
- the conditions for modification of the articles of association,
- the method of membership,
- the arrangements to be made in the event of dissolution,
- the Rules.
Internal regulations: additional statute
The statutory provisions of an association can be supplemented by the drafting of internal regulations. The latter is not compulsory, but allows the association to specify certain organizations and operating rules. However, the drafting of internal regulations is compulsory for certain associations, such as sports associations linked to an approved federation, OR associations or recognized as being of public utility, associations benefiting from public funds or those approved for fishing and aquatic protection.
Internal regulations are not compulsory, but highly recommended for good governance. It is for example useful to define the rules of access to the premises or to the equipment of the association, to clarify inner discipline and the terms of membership, etc. In addition, the internal regulations must stipulate the measures or sanctions applicable in the event of violation of the provisions by one of the members. It may for example be a temporary or permanent exclusion.
Obtaining the SIRET number
To obtain a SIRET number, an association must necessarily make a declaration to the prefecture. At the end of the latter, it will receive a number of the National Register of Associations or RNA. A SIRET number allows your association under the 1901 law to recruit employees, to apply for subsidies, to pay corporate taxes and VAT, if applicable. The steps to be taken to obtain a SIRET number for an association vary according to the reason for the registration request.