What does non-union mean in action

The association as an entrepreneur

In addition to sole proprietorships and companies, associations in the business world also act as carriers of entrepreneurial activities.


If at least two people come together to form a permanent organization that has a specific, common, ideal Purpose pursued, one speaks of an ideal club. The Association Act 2002 requires that the association itself not for profit may be directed. Nevertheless, he comes into question as a company owner because he is also allowed to be commercially active (Secondary Purpose Privilege) and may even make profits, if only he does not give them to the club members pours out or it serves as a cover for an employment of its members. If the profit achieved is rather back to the association - in particular to achieve its ideal Purposes - supplied, the ideal club can also be commercially active (e.g. football club operates a sports field buffet for profit). However, the legal form of the association stands for an exclusively profit-oriented activity Not to disposal!

If an association is admissibly commercially active, it must of course also adhere to the rules of the game, i.e. all legal regulations that also apply to its competitors, the profit-oriented companies.

Establishment and creation

At least two (natural and / or legal) persons are necessary to found an association. An agreement (statutes with name, seat, purpose, etc.), the appointment of Association organs (at least one two-headed Management body, the General meeting and two Auditor or. an auditor depending on the size of the club) and the notification to the locally responsible Association authority (District administrative authority or state police directorate). As a legal person arises However, it is only accepted either with the official acknowledgment of the notification of establishment or after a four (or six) week period has elapsed after the notification has been submitted to the association authority, if it does not issue a prohibition notice.


In principle, only the association with its association assets is liable for the association's liabilities. The administrators and members of the association are only personally liable with their private assets if this results from other statutory provisions or on the basis of personal legal obligations.

The administrators are personally liable to the association for damage resulting from the improper fulfillment of their duties (e.g. improper use of association assets, attacking association projects without sufficient financial security, disregard of accounting regulations, delaying a necessary bankruptcy application, violation of tax regulations or, for example, in administrative criminal law, i.e. in the case of criminal behavior within the framework of the association function). Conversely, the association assumes liability and responsibility for criminal acts of its organs criminal offenses to be punished and certain Financial offense its decision-makers and, if necessary, its employees in accordance with the Association Responsibility Act.


If the normal income or expenditure of an association does not exceed the threshold of EUR 1 million, an income and expenditure account for the association is sufficient.

If these income / expenses for two consecutive years exceed this limit, annual financial statements (balance sheet, profit and loss account) must be drawn up. If income / expenses even exceed the limit of EUR 3 million in two consecutive years (including income from economic activities) or if the donation volume is more than EUR 1 million, an extended annual financial statement is necessary and the final audit must be carried out by a specially qualified auditor respectively.

Association in corporate and consumer protection law

The corporate concept of the Corporate Code (UGB) expressly represents Not on the Intention to make a profit from! This means that clubs can also be covered by the UGB. This is when they have benefits regularly on the market against Remuneration to offer. However, if an association finances its services through membership fees, donations, subsidies and sponsoring, i.e. without direct remuneration for the respective service, or for a fee that is not calculated to cover costs, a company cannot be assumed. If, on the other hand, he enters the market with his economically valuable services (e.g. weekend operations in the club canteen, sales shop for club articles) Outside (also for non-members), a company according to the UGB is to be assumed and this association is subject to the UGB provisions on company-related transactions in its legal transactions.

An association with no outside activity, such as a weekly tarot club that only finances its expenses through its membership fees, is not a company. This calculation also applies to externally oriented associations that provide charitable services. They do provide valuable services. However, there is no exchange relationship with the recipient of the service because he or she could not afford an appropriate remuneration.

If an association is an entrepreneur, this also applies to consumer protection law, i. H. the association is also to be treated as an entrepreneur under this law. If he concludes contracts with members of the association that are not just legal relationships under membership law (such as the obligation to pay membership fees = real Part of the statutes), but establish other reciprocal obligations, the association is deemed to be Entrepreneur and its member as consumer with all associated protection claims (e.g. right of withdrawal).

Association in trade law

If an association is commercially active, it also needs a trade license to exercise an activity within the meaning of the trade regulations, regardless of whether or not it qualifies as an entrepreneur according to the UGB. This is necessary even if the club is only economicadvantages wants to provide his club members or that Appearance of a relevant commercial enterprise, he may not take up this activity more than once a week.

At the company's location, the association has to register the trade for the company and appoint a managing director under trade law. Of course, the association also has to comply with company plant law regulations and regulations in connection with its business practice.

Association in tax law

For an association, the tax concession or exemption from corporation tax is only considered if it is considered to be to the tax authorities "Nonprofit organization" is to be classified. This applies if the association to which the beneficiary is to be granted, according to the law, the articles of association or any other legal basis and according to their actual management serves exclusively and directly to promote charitable, charitable or church purposes; also an indispensable for the achievement of the listed charitable purposes Auxiliary operation of an association (e.g. small sales events such as ski bazaar), which otherwise does not carry out any additional activities, does not affect the non-profit status.

However, if an association runs an agricultural and forestry business or a Commercial enterprise with the intention of making a profit with participation in general economic activity, the association loses its beneficiary status vis-à-vis the tax authorities; the association is thus fully and unlimited corporation tax as subject to sales tax, unless the competent tax office issues a full or partial exemption upon request or such is deemed to have been issued. For the association, however, the small business exemption applies to sales tax.