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Association Bylaws

When founding your association, the bylaws are an important part of the process. The bylaws can be amended at the annual general meeting and define the organisation and its running.

Guidelines for the Association's Bylaws

The bylaws of associations do not have specific criteria they have to fulfil since the bylaws depend on the legal form the association has chosen. Still, there exists a general guideline of what should be included in the bylaws and which sections are optional, according to the individual needs of the association. 

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Content of Association Bylaws

There are rules, which have to be in the association bylaws, which should be in the bylaws and rules which are optional

The bylaws have to include the following rules:

  • the purpose of the association
  • the name of the association
  • the principal office

The bylaws should additionally include rules about:

  • how to become a member
  • cessation of membership
  • membership duties, e.g. if membership fees have to be paid
  • the composition of the board of directors
  • how and when the members come together for a general meeting
  • specifics about putting forward and voting on resolutions 

POLYAS Tip: Do you want to vote online in your association? Add online voting to your bylaws as a voting option. Our online voting experts can support you!

Optional: Is Amending the Bylaws Necessary?

In general, associations can develop their bylaws as they wish, if their chosen legal form allows it. Optional sections in the bylaws are often the case to meet the needs of the association’s individual purpose. As aforementioned, certain points have to be included in the bylaws so that the association runs smoothly and there is no dissimilarity between members and the executive.

In certain cases, it is necessary to amend the bylaws to keep up with new developments in society, such as the possibility to vote online. Have a look how to amend your association’s bylaws!