By-Law Contents

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Bylaws should be specific enough to help the running of the organization, but general enough that the organization can function easily without violating/contradicting the bylaws in actual practice. Bylaws establish continuing, generally-applicable policies or procedures basic to the structure or management. In matters in which changes can be anticipated over the live of the organization, such as dues structure, number of directors, titles and functions of staff employees, etc., the bylaws should give only general guidance or set minimal requirements.

By-laws typically contain:

  • Purposes of the organization
  • Membership  qualifications
  • Officers qualifications, terms of office, titles, etc.
  • Election information (frequency and manner of balloting)
  • Filing of officer vacancies
  • Voting by members and directors
  • Amendment procedures
  • Dissolution procedures

Different Countries/States may have specific requirements for their by-laws. Please check with your local authorities to make sure that your by-laws also fulfill their requirements.  (Usually the same office that you would go through to get a business license would provide this information.)

When logged into this website, members can view a general by-law example at the bottom of this page.