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Starting a Chapter - How To
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The Steps to Starting My Local Sales Association Chapter

Congratulations on your decision to start a new chapter!

Please use the information below to help you manage the requirements and processes involved with establishing your chapter.

Where do you go from here? 
This page will give you overview information on the steps: form a legal entity, complete your Chapter Charter and Affiliation Agreement and have a Plan for Success.

1.  Establish Your Chapter as a Legal Entity

It's not difficult, time-consuming or expensive to incorporate and establish as a legal entity. You can do it yourself in as few as 20 or 30 minutes to a couple hours.

Step 1a
- The first thing you need is an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service.

You can obtain one by filling out an online application. At the end of the process, you'll have your EIN and it only takes a few minutes to fill out.  You'll need to know in advance what type of entity you'll be creating (Non-Profit Corporation, LLC, etc). 

IRS EIN Application Page  

Step 1b - Register your entity with the Secretary of State of the state where you want to incorporate your chapter.

Once again, this is generally a simple process, which can be completed quickly online.  There may be a small fee (Less than $50) to file as a non-profit corporation.  LLC, s-corp and similar types of incorporations may cost a little more (generally $100 or less). 

To find your Secretary of State(SOS), simply type in your search engine "[Name of State] Secretary of State."  There will be a link on your SOS website that says "Business Entities" and a sub-item "Forms and Fees" where you can go to file your entity with the SOS.

Step 1c - Articles of Incorporation - This online process establishes your Articles of Incorporation within your state and usually no further action is required. 

2.  Complete The Sales Association Chapter Affiliation Agreement and Chapter Charter

The Agreement defines the relationship between  The Sales Association - national/international (Association) and the Local Chapters (Chapter).  The Agreement allows full autonomy for Chapter operations and is designed to be simple for you to use, so you can get to your real goal of leading local sales professionals through a great locally focused Sales Association Chapter designed to meet their need.

The Sales Association Chapter Affiliation Agreement and Chapter Charter - Fillable PDF Format 

3.  Create Your By-Laws

You will want to establish your chapter By-Laws, but it is generally not a requirement for legal incorporation or setting up a bank account. Please download the standard chapter by-laws template below and fill in the information specific to your chapter.  Your Chapter may choose a different by-law model and the final version of the by-laws must be approved by The Sales Association.

The Sales Association Chapter By-Laws Template - Fillable PDF Format 
The Sales Association Chapter By-Laws Template - Word Doc 

4. Create Your "Chapter 90 Success Plan"

You want to maximize your New Local Chapter's success!  Let's work together to create your map to success.

The Sales Association wants your chapter to be hugely successful as do your pofessional sales colleagues.  Why not learn from the best practices already known?  The Sales Association staff will meet with you on the major areas of operations that ensure  success:

- Identifying key co-leaders
- Planning a kick-off event - Building a Calendar
- Building key contacts
- Building committees
- Nuts and bolts training on database and broadcast email engines

Additional items we will discuss are:

- Board and Key Member Development
- Website Development
- Bank and Merchant Accounts
- LinkedIn Group Development - already have groups in some communities
- Business Insurance

Documents and Tools

The Sales Association Logo - High Resolution (print use)
The Sales Association Logo - Low Resolution (electronic use)
Volunteer Information Sheet

Program Ideas/Sample
Event Marketing Schedule/Template
Sample Marketing Flyer

Introduction Script for Event
Rolling PowerPoint Presentation

Website Resources:
Often, website services are managed inside of Event Management software and Association Management software programs.  Here are a few options and there are many more resources.

Event Management Resources:
There are a lot of event management software options.  Some are registration only and other allow for the purchase of registrations.
Constant Contact (marketing tool as well)
Event Bright
Google “event management software” for more resources.

Associations Management Software Resources:
Prices vary from inexpensive to quite expensive.  It is likely better to wait until your chapter is established before engaging an expensive AMS resource.
Avectra/NimbleAMS (What we use)

Now that you know how to get started, what are your thoughts and plans? Remember to capture your enthusiasm and the enthusiasm of your colleagues by moving as quickly as possible to incorporate, establish your charter and identify key players. Most importantly, stay in communication with Rob Spangler at The Sales Association so he can help you get your new Local Chapter off to a great start.

Robert Spangler, MPA
Development Director
The Sales Association

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