Idaho Nonprofit Bylaws
Idaho nonprofit bylaws are the rules and provisions adopted by your nonprofit’s board of directors or members. Adopting bylaws for your Idaho nonprofit is one of the first and most important steps in organizing your nonprofit. Your bylaws help you mitigate any internal issues and ensure your board knows how to operate your business.
We can help you get started with our attorney-drafted Idaho nonprofit bylaws template.
Why does an Idaho nonprofit need bylaws?
You don’t have to file your nonprofit bylaws with the Secretary of State like the Idaho Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation. But your bylaws are important to maintaining your business and staying in good standing within Idaho. Here are some important factors to remember about Idaho nonprofit bylaws.
1. Nonprofit bylaws are legally required in Idaho.
According to ID Code § 30-30-206, “the board of directors or members … shall adopt initial bylaws.” This means bylaws aren’t just nice to have, but are legally required in Idaho. If you want your nonprofit to stay in good standing within the state, you will need to create bylaws when you first form your Idaho nonprofit.
2. Third parties will ask to see your bylaws.
Even though you don’t have to file your Idaho nonprofit bylaws with the state, you still need to provide your bylaws to prove the legitimacy of your organization from time to time. Members’ attorneys may need access to your bylaws. Applying for tax-exempt status or opening an Idaho bank account for your nonprofit? You’ll need to provide a copy of your bylaws along with other important documents to prove your nonprofit’s legitimacy.
3. Nonprofit bylaws allow you more control over your nonprofit.
Idaho nonprofit bylaws are the rules and policies governing how your business is run and how it operates, giving you say over how your business is operated. Without bylaws outlining how your company can merge, compensate directors, vote, add directors or officers, or dissolve, you’ll be without a rule book to how to handle these issues when they no doubt arise.
Want to learn more? Check out our Guide to Nonprofits.
What do Idaho Nonprofit Bylaws include?
Your Idaho nonprofit bylaws should include clear guidelines and rules for how to run your nonprofit, including processes for:
- adding or removing board members
- giving notice and holding board meetings
- voting and meeting quorum requirements
- handling conflicts of interest
- compensating directors
- keeping records
- amending the bylaws
- operating during emergencies
- dissolving the nonprofit
Additionally, your Idaho nonprofit bylaws should include basic information about your nonprofit (like its name, business address, and purpose).
Are nonprofit bylaws legally binding?
Yes. All directors, officers, and members are legally required to abide by the bylaws whether or not they are signed. Bylaws can also be used during legal procedures.
Are nonprofit bylaws public record?
No and yes. You don’t have to file your Idaho nonprofit bylaws with the Secretary of State, but if you apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS, you have to file your bylaws with the IRS. The IRS then publicly lists your nonprofit bylaws.
Do nonprofit bylaws need to be signed?
No. Bylaws contractually bind the directors and members. However, we recommend creating bylaws to keep all your employees on the same page.
Can nonprofit bylaws be changed?
Yes. The Idaho Nonprofit Corporation Act outlines specific rules for amending your bylaws by directors and members in ID Code §§ 30-30-708—30-30-710.
Who adopts nonprofit bylaws?
ID Code § 30-30-206 states the initial bylaws are adopted by the board of directors or members at your nonprofit’s first organizational meeting.