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Legal Audit Checklist for 2015

Numerous laws governing non-profit activities, management, and internal policies make non-profit corporation law a legal minefield.  Setting off any one of these metaphorical mines can have catastrophic effects on the viability and legitimacy of your non-profit organization.  Legal audits are invaluable tools which can be utilized to manage risk and ensure legal compliance with the many IRS and state non-profit laws.

Below are just a few examples of how legal audits can aid your non-profit organization:

1. Legal Review of Binding Agreements. Review your employment manuals, contracts, and other forms to eliminate any unintentional risks and minimize liability for breaches and wrongful termination claims.

2. Review Governing Documents. Examine your non-profit’s governing documents such as its constitution, bylaws, articles of incorporation, and purpose statement to ensure that they are in legal compliance with the IRS and state requirements for tax-exempt entities.

3. Determine Compliance With Charitable Solicitation Law. Ensure that your non-profit is legally compliant with the unique laws governing charitable fundraising across the United States.

4. Protect Intellectual Property. Review and develop policies that will protect intellectual property rights and patents.  This may include aiding your non-profit create an effective policy for royalty income and copyright ownership.

5. Implement and Review Child Protection Policy. Help develop a child protection policy that will safeguard minors from potential risk while simultaneously mitigating organizational risk. Legal counsel can work with non-profits to aid in understanding their liabilities, as well as attending to the needs of the victim and/or perpetrator in a prudent manner.

6. Review and Develop Employment Handbook and Policies. Review existing employee polices to improve organizational effectiveness and mitigate potential liabilities. This may include the development of a written sexual harassment policy, implementing terms for the hiring of independent contractors, and instituting protective measures for use when filling other non-profit jobs.

7. Ensure Compliance with IRS restrictions on Church and Non-profit Activity. Because non-profits are tax-exempt entities, the IRS bans certain activities, such as endorsing political candidates, and sets regulations on lobbying activities. In order to comply with non-profit tax law, all voter scorecards or political candidate comparisons distributed prior to an election should be reviewed by a legal counsel.

8. Electronic Communications Policy. Develop policies which ensure that the privacy rights of employees are limited in regards to dealing with employer information.

9. Conduct Objective Risk Management. Conduct a risk management survey and insurance review from the last three years.

Contact a non-profit lawyer at Simms Showers to obtain a legal audit for your non-profit organization.


Disclaimer: This memorandum is provided for general information purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice particular to your situation. No recipients of this memo should act or refrain from acting solely on the basis of this memorandum without seeking professional legal counsel. Simms Showers LLP expressly disclaims all liability relating to actions taken or not taken based solely on the content of this memorandum.  Please contact Robert Showers at hrs@simmsshowerslaw.com for specific legal advice on this issue for your needs. Simms Showers LLP © 2015

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