In New York State, education corporations are created by the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York. As the senior educational authority in New York State, the Board of Regents oversees the State's educational system. Nonprofit organizations and institutions with educational purposes seeking to incorporate, must do so under Education Law § 216, subject to the authority of the Regents.
While every other state views cultural agencies as nonprofit businesses, New York treats them as educational organizations. This is a significant difference because the underlying assumption of Education Law, as implemented by the Rules of the Regents, is that the Board of Regents will evaluate the quality of an organization or institution that seeks to be incorporated.
Although the process of incorporating cultural agencies in New York State is a regulatory function, the posture of the Board of Regents and the staff of the State Education Department is developmental. Fostering the evolution of excellent cultural agencies in New York State is the primary objective of the policies governing incorporation. New York's wide range of excellent cultural agencies is recognized by the Board of Regents as one of our State's most important educational resources.
There are two different incorporation types within the New York State Education Department; charter and certificate of incorporation. For this instance, charters are only granted to museums and historical socities with collections, while certificate of incorporation are granted to cultural agencies that do not own collections.