Legal Question in Business Law in Maryland

Hello, in a for-profit/nonprofit partnership, what is the structure? Specifically, is it legal for one board to serve in both organizations?

Asked on 3/21/14, 1:29 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Cedulie Laumann Arden Law Firm, LLC

No, it is not possible to have a single board. There may be permissible overlap in various boards (and in theory one could have two organizations with separate boards that contain the same individuals) but overlap will usually create issues when seeking tax-exempt status. The whole purposes of the boards are different - the for profit must seek to benefit its shareholders while the non-profit must seek to further its charitable goals.

Each organization will need to follow its own internal structure and governing documents. "Partnerships" between ordinary and tax-exempt organizations may or may not be permissible depending on the circumstances.

If you have a specific question about setting up an organization (or multiple organizations) you are strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel. An attorney can help set-up organizations and prepare the governing documents. While I hope the general legal information in this answer helps it does not take the place of getting personalized legal advice .

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Answered on 3/24/14, 6:36 am

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