Incorporating an Education Corporation

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.

Rules and Regulations

All New York State Board of Regents incorporated organizations have to follow certain rules and regulations in order to be in good standing:

To understand what it means to be a trustee or board member

Property of museum/ historical society 

Annual Report

Each institution shall file with the commissioner an annual report, in a form prescribed by the commissioner, which records the educational and cultural activities of the institution and presents an accurate statement of all financial operations. Each institution shall include in its annual report a list of all items or item lots deaccessioned in the past year and all items or item lots disposed of in the past year.

Electronic 2016 Annual Report will be available in early April.

Document Request

To request copies of a charter or Regents certificate of incorporation please contact either of the two offices below and provide then with the name of the organization and the date the charter/certificate was issued.

New York State Archives
New York State Education Department
Cultural Education Center
Albany NY 12230
Phone: (518) 474-8955
archref@nysed.gov 

New York State Board of Regents
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Board of Regents, Room 110 EB
Albany NY 12234
Phone: (518) 474-5889
RegentsOffice@nysed.gov 

For copies of institutional policies please contact the New York State Chartering Office

Contact Chartering

Chartering Program
New York State Education Department
C/o Sarah Jastremski
Room 10A33, Cultural Education Center
Albany NY 12230
Phone: (518) 486-3843
charters@nysed.gov 

To find a list of cultural institutions in your area go to http://nysculturaled.org/