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  #1  
Old 03-21-2004, 09:26 PM
Smerdyakov Smerdyakov is offline
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Default Advice for an Internet hosting cooperative?

I'm part of a group that runs cooperative Internet hosting. Hardly any of the members, who are scattered throughout the world, have met in person. We aren't currently recognized legally in any way, and we think that we are at the stage of growth where we should be. I'm writing to ask for advice on how we should go about this, or to get pointers to groups or people who are able/willing to answer such questions.

Our current and projected operations are very light compared to what one usually thinks of as a "small business" or as a cooperative. There are not now (and we don't plan to have any) paid employees or profits. Basically, the function of the cooperative is to:
- Organize people to pool funds to pay for Internet hardware and hosting services from commercial providers
- Manage the resources (mostly software) on our servers that are shared by the group

The entire amount of money per year associated with our group's operations now is under US$1000. This charge comes from costs imposed on us by our commercial providers and is split among members. I certainly don't see our going to over $5k/year any time in the next decade.

I have a feeling that these low amounts of money and lack of employees mean that usual laws and procedures for cooperatives or small businesses are overkill. We really just want to be able to have a way to say "this sum of money belongs to the cooperative" and have that recognized legally. We'd also like to have legal recognition of group ownership of computer hardware and hosting contracts. Currently, the money is sent to me personally, and I am the legal owner of things associated with the group. The potential problems with this come from tax issues and possible liability for actions taken by members using our servers.

So, do you have any advice on what we should do to become "fully legit," or can you direct me to another source for such advice?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2004, 11:16 AM
TGH TGH is offline
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Default just a thought

Sounds like you will need the advise of an attorney for this one.

I didn't catch where you are headquartered so that may be an issue with a corp.

Do you have rules of membership drawn up?
How do I join?
How do I leave?
What happens to the money I contribute if I choose to leave?

These are issues you will have to address.
Off the top of my head, it sounds like you need a corporation of some type. Each memeber then becomes an equal shareholder. The money they put in is their investment. The hardware and software is held by the corporation as an entity. You may be able to set it up as a not for profit. I am really not too well versed in these matters.
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2004, 11:31 AM
Smerdyakov Smerdyakov is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGH
I didn't catch where you are headquartered so that may be an issue with a corp.
We don't have any physical base of operations. Everything is done over the Internet. Thus, if we have to follow archaic laws about associating groups with locations, just about any location is as good as any other.

Quote:
Do you have rules of membership drawn up?
How do I join?
How do I leave?
We have working rules for these sorts of things, yes.

Quote:
What happens to the money I contribute if I choose to leave?
This hasn't come up yet, though the only money not associated with paying for services as they are used is a share of hardware costs, which comes to less than $60, and we may be removing that cost soon, anyway.

Quote:
Off the top of my head, it sounds like you need a corporation of some type. Each memeber then becomes an equal shareholder. The money they put in is their investment.
This sounds way overkill when the total of all "investments" is low enough that an individual making that much money in a year wouldn't owe any income tax, and maybe wouldn't even need to file tax returns.

Quote:
The hardware and software is held by the corporation as an entity.
Hardware is cheap, and we use all free software. Again, it seems there is too little money involved here to justify usual setups.

Thanks for the advice!
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2004, 11:18 AM
TGH TGH is offline
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Question Hmmmmm

Since you asked for a way to be recognized legally that is what I geared my answers to.

I am by no means an expert on this subject, so my basic advise of talking to an attorney still holds true.

Since you are already creating rules for functioning I think you are already creating the basis for a coporation and the actual setting up should be fairly simple. Plus this puts you in the best position for growth.

You could just create a set of rules of cooperation, which everyone must agree and adhere to. This then becomes a contract. But a contract with whom? So here I am back at some sort of legal entity such as a corporation.

Anyone else have an Idea on this one???????????????????????

James
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2004, 04:48 PM
aquaman aquaman is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGH
I am by no means an expert on this subject, so my basic advise of talking to an attorney still holds true.
Just one question though--You've said twice now to speak to an attorney. I have also seen that advice many, many times in this forum--so exactly what kind of attorney should I talk to, and how would I find an affordable such attorney for someone just starting out?
Thanks.

Aquaman Out.
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2012, 11:49 AM
adrian_in9@yaho adrian_in9@yaho is offline
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Default re

You’ll need to keep a few basic things in mind while choosing a SaaS provider like easier administration, automatic updates and patch management, easier collaboration, and global accessibility. Also make sure that all users will have the same version of software. SaaS Companies
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