Register your club name
You may need to register your club name as a business name with your local county or state. You can find out about the requirements for your state here:
Establish your operating rules
Most investment clubs conduct their activities as a type of business called a general partnership. You should establish a partnership agreement which describes the fundamental rules under which you will operate. You can find a sample partnership agreement
here. Once you agree to the terms, all your members should sign a copy.
Clubs also establish operating procedures to go along with their partnership agreement. These are working rules. Whereas a partnership agreement might say you meet monthly, your operating procedures might specify that you meet on the third Thursday of every month. You do not need them to operate your club but they are easier to change so many clubs like to put the specific details of their operations in them. You can find a sample set of Operating Procedures
Just a caveat. When you get started, don't get too bogged down worrying about the details of the wording in these documents. The sample recommendations have worked well for thousands of clubs for many years. You can always amend them later if you need to. Your members will prefer to begin discussing investments as soon as they can and you'll want to keep your momentum going by getting started investing within your first couple of meetings. Some clubs even start by having a small group iron out administrative details before inviting other members to join.
Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An EIN is like a social security number which identifies your business (your club). You will need it to open a brokerage account and to file your annual taxes. You can apply for it here:
Open a brokerage account.
Of course, you'll need to open a brokerage account. Pick one of the brokerages supported by our
AccountSyncTM service - it'll make keeping your books a snap! Here's the list:
Just click on the link to go to their website and choose to open an investment club or partnership account.
We highly recommend you operate your club with just a brokerage account. Many of our AccountSync
TM brokers offer checking so you don't need a bank account. Setting things up like this means you can keep your record keeping as simple as possible. AccountSync
TM will be able to pull in all your transactions for you.
Of course, a club really doesn't have much reason to need to write checks. You can operate fine without a checking account. Most brokers will cut you a check in the rare instances when you need one, or, you can reimburse members who pay for club expenses with extra units of ownership in your club.
If you'd like to use a broker which is not currently one of our AccountSync
TM brokers, it is easy to do that also. You'll find it very simple to make manual entries into bivio or, you can read in transactions from an OFX file if your broker provides that type of output.