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  • Tips for Treasurers

Trade Association or Membership Organization?

May 5, 2008

Sometimes membership organizations are not sure whether the more specific rules for trade associations apply to them. While all trade associations are membership organizations under FEC rules, not all membership organizations are trade associations. For example, labor organizations and chambers of commerce fit into the broader definition of membership organization, but do not fit into the definition of a trade association. An organization is a trade association under FEC regulations if its membership is engaged in a similar or related line of commerce or business (i.e., all the members of the organization are in the same industry) and if the organization promotes and tries to improve the business conditions of its membership. To learn more about the rules that apply to trade associations, membership organizations and labor organizations, register now for the FEC's June 23-24 conference in Washington DC for these organizations.