Chapter 07 - Agreements & Policies: Good Documents Make Good Friends

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Agreements & Policies, and Establishing Your Legal Entity

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Creating a Life Together:

Creating a Life Together Chapter Seven

Agreements & Policies:

Agreements & Policies “Good Documents Make Good Friends” 1. Remembering Things Differently 2. Giving Yourselves Every Chance of Success 3. Your Community’s Agreements & Policies 4. Abundant Dawn’s Agreements

1. Remembering Things Differently:

1. Remembering Things Differently “You’ll be hearing from our lawyers!” No signed contracts or legal agreements We all remember things differently Choice of spoken words Memories are poor We read into what others say

2. Give Every Chance of Success:

2. Give Every Chance of Success Write down what everyone thinks they are agreeing to and have someone read it back You can even have everyone sign it Make it a John Hancock or ceremonial event Written documents are binding; writing it down and signing it also acts as a deterrent Social pressure is a powerful deterrent

3. Community Agreements & Policies:

3. Community Agreements & Policies Forming stages: vision, membership, decision- making processes, finances, land search After legal entity formed: community labor, fees, land use, ecological policies, community finances, pets, tools, noise, water, drugs, ATF, joining processes, leaving processes, behavior, etc.

3. Agreements & Policies (cont.):

3. Agreements & Policies (cont.) Land purchase documents will include a few Other agreements may be included in contracts Some policies/agreements may be separate Create now, or wait for need? Legal documents easier to create if policies exist Easier for others to join if everything is completed Avoid crises, don’t wait for them

4. Sample Agreements :

4. Sample Agreements Abundant Dawn: Vision Statement, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Membership Policy, Community Structure Overview, Food Policy, Conflict Resolution Document, Financial Policy, Visitor Policy, On-Land Business Policy, Land Planning, Environmental Guidelines for Buildings, Forestry Policy, Pet Policy, Expulsion Policy, Community Dissolution

Too much or not enough?:

Too much or not enough? “Some people might consider Abundant Dawn’s agreements excessive, but I think it’s smart. This is a community founded by experienced communitarians – and it’s one of the ten percent.”

Agreements & Policies:

Agreements & Policies Discussion

Chapter 8: Establishing Your Legal Entity:

Chapter 8: Establishing Your Legal Entity Set it up before buying your property Need one to purchase property Need one to manage community-owned businesses, including non-profit Agreements made will be legally enforceable Taxes can be reduced

Choosing Legal Entities:

Choosing Legal Entities Protect from lawsuits & financial liability Prevent unnecessary taxation Allow title, land use, & decision making according to your choice Help accomplish your purposes Reflect your values

Using Professionals:

Using Professionals Consult a real estate lawyer when purchasing Consult a tax lawyer to set up legal entity Become educated in all the options first Consult a tax accountant or CPA Draft documents & have them reviewed Form a committee to learn & decide

Establishing Your Legal Entity:

Establishing Your Legal Entity Discussion

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