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How to Form a Chapter

Select the link you'd like to view for Steps One & Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine & Ten or Committees. These steps correspond to the Chapter Formation Flowchart.

Steps One and Two

A state must have at least 50 members to formally begin working toward a Chapter. Individual members are encouraged to work on membership growth to attain this goal.

Step Three

A volunteer Organizational Committee shall be formed, made up of at least 12 members who are willing to do the work necessary to start a Chapter. This group will work together for a few months. It is important they be willing to keep in close communication and meet often.

The committee and the National Association will keep in close contact regarding the status of the formation of the Chapter. At any time you can request an up-to-date state membership list from the National Office sorted by name, zip code, or telephone number.

The steps as outlined here are important and have worked for the formation of Chapters throughout the United States.  We urge you to stay as close to them as possible.

Step Four

The previously mentioned Organizational Committee, made up of at least 12 members, must formally file a petition with the National Office requesting a vote by the state membership to determine if the majority of members in your area want a Chapter. You may request a copy of the petition from the National Office.

The National Office will send a letter to the membership of your potential Chapter explaining this petition has been filed. The letter will also discuss the duties, responsibilities, and benefits of a Chapter and will include the names of the members on the Organizational Committee. The ballot will be sent with this letter and each member will have 15 days to return the ballot. The ballots will be mailed by, returned to, and counted by the National Association. Your committee contact person will be notified of the election results.

Step Five

For the election to be valid, at least 40 members or 20% of the members in your area, whichever is greater, must vote in this election. You may want your committee members to contact the membership in their area. A majority of those voting must vote in favor of a Chapter for any further work to be done towards forming the Chapter.

Select the link you'd like to view: Steps One & Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine & Ten, Committees or the Chapter Formation Flowchart.

Step Six

The first planning meeting of those members who signed the petition would be a good time for the group to talk about why they want a Chapter, what they would like to see it doing after one year, two years, and five years. It is important to have dreams.

Be prepared for several planning meetings as a timetable needs to be put in place and incorporation procedures need to be started. The staff at the National Office will be available to help the Organizational Committee during this time to answer questions.

Step Seven

After a positive vote is received, an organizational meeting shall be held. This is an exciting time. It is the first meeting open to the entire membership and should be held in a location and at a time that will encourage maximum participation. To keep costs down, some Chapters have met at banks, libraries, and family restaurants to conduct this meeting. The letter announcing the results of the ballot should be an invitation to this meeting, complete with time, place, and abbreviated agenda. This letter will be printed and mailed to the state members by the National Office at no expense to the Chapter.

The purpose of this meeting is to give members a chance to participate in the forming of an organization close to their hearts. It is the first opportunity that most of the members will have to discuss what a Chapter will mean to them. It is an opportunity for the Organizational Committee to add much needed workers to its ranks.

At this meeting, interim officers (president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer) will be elected and committees appointed. Time should be scheduled for the committees to meet to set their own timetables and understand their responsibilities. Four committees are to be appointed at this meeting. They are the Bylaws Committee, Regional Analysis Committee, Nominations Committee, and Annual Meeting Planning Committee.

The Bylaws and Regional Analysis Committees can be combined to create a single committee since the two are interrelated. Detailed descriptions of these committees are included in this brochure.

Copies of all minutes, including those of the organizational meeting, should be sent to the National Headquarters. The Bylaws Committee will be provided with a model set of Bylaws to work with. The work of the Bylaws and Regional Analysis Committees will be sent to the Association for approval. It is important to the Association to know what your committees are doing, when and where you have meetings, and what your plans are at this point.

A National representative will be available to attend this meeting to help with any questions and concerns the members might have.

Select the link you'd like to view: Steps One & Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine & Ten, Committees or the Chapter Formation Flowchart. Click here to return to the top of this page.

Step Eight

The first annual meeting will be held to finalize the formation of the Chapter. At this meeting, the bylaws will be approved and adopted, the Regional Analysis Committee report will be approved, and the state directors and officers will be elected. Standing committees as outlined in the newly accepted bylaws will be appointed, and work on your new Chapter will begin. The meeting must be held in conjunction with educational sessions in a conference setting, possibly including vendor exhibits. If you would like to offer CPE credits for the education offered, call National and request the Procedures on Becoming a Sponsor for Continuing Education packet.

Registrants should receive a package including an agenda and reports from the Bylaws, Nomination, and Regional Analysis Committees. Having that information before the meeting will save valuable time. There is a great deal of work to be done at this meeting and it will be, again, the first chance many of the members will have to talk about their vision of the Chapter.

Time should be set aside before the end of the meeting for the new Board of Directors to meet to elect their officers, appoint committee heads, and plan their priorities. The general membership should be encouraged to serve on standing and special committees and the committees should have time scheduled to meet. Because you are beginning a statewide organization with regional representation, getting to meetings can be costly and time consuming, so accomplish as much as you can at this meeting.

A letter informing members of this meeting will be printed and mailed to the appropriate members by National Headquarters at no expense to the Chapter. A National representative will be available to attend this meeting.

Steps Nine and Ten 

The actual business of incorporating will be done by the Chapter before this meeting and all incorporation fees will be paid by National. Your Chapter Charter will be presented at the Annual National Conference following this first annual meeting.

All members of NATP in your state will automatically become members of the state Chapter. Within 30 days of the first annual meeting, NATP will provide a stipend to initially fund your Chapter treasury.  Thereafter, on a quarterly basis, NATP will provide funds for each new and renewed member during that quarter.

Select the link you'd like to view: Steps One & Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine & Ten, Committees or the Chapter Formation Flowchart. Click here to return to the top of this page.

Chapter Committee Descriptions

Bylaws Committee - The Association has produced a set of model bylaws for Chapters. In some places you will have to fill in the blanks with names, addresses, etc. In a few places you may have to make modifications or additions to be consistent with your state's laws. In other places you may feel that you would like to change certain provisions to suit your vision of the operation of the Chapter. In the latter case you must consult closely with the Association. There are a number of areas where some flexibility is acceptable and other places where consistency with the Association and other Chapters is paramount. The proposed bylaws will be submitted to the Association after the Bylaws Committee has finalized them and before the first Annual State Conference (also referred to as "Annual Meeting").

Nominations Committee - The purpose of the Nominations Committee is to select nominees who have the experience and the qualities that meet the needs of the organization from each of the designated regions of the state. Prospective nominees will be interviewed personally, by telephone or by mail, and their consent to serve if elected should be secured. The Committee will prepare a report containing the names of the nominees, their experience, and qualifications. The final report will be given at the Annual State Conference and be submitted for publication and distribution to the members.

Annual Meeting Planning Committee - The Committee will set a time, date, and location for the Annual State Conference as well as draft a letter of invitation for the Secretary. A meeting site should be large enough for the group and may include meal functions, a hospitality room, a general meeting area, as well as room for committee meetings. Fees must be set, and someone appointed to collect the fees and pay the bills (possibly the Treasurer). Arrange for guest speakers and personnel to staff the reservation desk. Make arrangements for necessary materials including name tags and attendee packages, as well as microphones, audio visual equipment, etc. Making the meeting comfortable, efficient, and enjoyable for the attendees is a priority in organizing the Annual Meeting.

Regional Analysis Committee (Optional) - The Regional Analysis Committee will divide your state into regions to create a system of fair representation. Representation on the Board of Directors will be equal for each region. While Directors will be elected from a certain region, it should be remembered that they are to represent the interests of the entire state. The purpose of regionalization is to create unity through equal representation and should never be allowed to create divisiveness in a state. This division into regions is subject to approval by the Association. A report will be submitted to the Association before the first Annual State Conference showing the regions that were created along with a complete explanation of why you believe that this division will create the intended results: a strong and unified Chapter.

Select the link you'd like to view: Steps One & Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine & Ten, Committees or the Chapter Formation Flowchart. Click here to return to the start of this information.

If you have questions or want to start the process in your state, please contact Steve Schultz, Chapter Leadership Advisor, sschultz@natptax.com or 800.558.3402, ext. 1141Thank you for your interest in helping the National Association of Tax Professionals start a Chapter in your state.

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