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Association Bylaws

Creating bylaws is an important part of establishing an association. Bylaws set out the purpose of an organization and regulations within which it must operate. After bylaws have been created, they can be subsequently amended at annual general meetings.

Guidelines for association bylaws

Bylaws of associations don't have to meet one specific set of criteria. They can differ depending on the legal form taken by individual associations. Nevertheless, there are some things which apply generally to bylaws in every association, along with additional sections which vary according to the individual needs of an association.

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Content of association bylaws

Association bylaws have to include the following rules:

  • the purpose of the association
  • the name of the association
  • the principal officers

Association 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 members come together for general meetings
  • specifics about putting forward and voting on resolutions 

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

Is amending the bylaws necessary?

Generally speaking, associations can develop their bylaws as they wish as long as their chosen legal form allows it. Optional sections in the bylaws are often included to meet the needs of the association on an individual level. As mentioned above, certain points have to be included in the bylaws so that the association runs smoothly.

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