Regents Certificate of Incorporation

Cultural agencies that do not qualify as a museum or historical society with collections are not eligible for a charter. If the organization is nonprofit, organized for the promotion of science, liturature, art, history, or other department of knowledge, and is educational in any way; for example preservation groups, or friends groups for museums, historical societies or historic sites, and wishes to incorporate, it may petition for the issuance of a Regents certificate of incorporation. This instrument constitutes official recognition that the organization's purposes are of educational or cultural value. It is a permanent form of incorporation.

These organizations are not authorized to own or hold collections, as defined in section 3.27 (a)(7) of Regents Rules, except to borrow items owned by other institutions for brief periods of time for purposes of study or short-term, temporary exhibition.

Most important of the many advantages of incorporation is that the educational organization becomes a legal entity. Title to the assets is held in the name of the education corporation and is thus protected from falling into the hands of individual members in the event the organization should dissolve.

Another important advantage of incorporation is that it makes the organization eligible to apply to the United States Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit, tax exempt education corporation under section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This is important to a nonprofit corporation because money raised from dues, admission charges and gifts would otherwise be considered taxable income. This exemption also encourages contributions since donors may deduct such gifts from their personal income taxes.

Finally, incorporation gives an education organization the prestige and recognition of being a member of The University of the State of New York. 

A corporation to which a certificate of incorporation has been issued may represent itself as "Incorporated under the New York State Education Law." In no case, however, may it claim chartered status

Certificate Toolkits

  • Certificate of Incorporation

    8 NYCRR 3.30 defines the regulations set for organizations that petition the NY Board of Regents for a Certificate of Incorporation

    Mail to the State Education Department, Office of Counsel, 89 Washington Ave., Room 148 EB, Albany, NY 12234

    1. original petition and 2 copies of the petition
    2. fee of $100 made payable to the New York State Education Department

     

    To help with the review process, the New York State Museum Chartering Office requires new organizations to fill out a corresponding questionnaire. The questionnaire with supporting documentation can either be mailed with the corresponding petition to New York State Education Office of Counsel, or separately to the Chartering Office by mail or email.  

    Sample Policies

  • Amend Certificate

    If the Board of Trustees wishes to change the corporate name, to amend or expand the corporate purposes, change the number of trustees, or to alter in any other way the provisions of the certificate of incorporation, it may apply to the Board of Regents to amend the certificate. (Note: the names of the Trustees listed on the certificate does not need to be amended)

    Mail to the State Education Department, Office of Counsel, 89 Washington Ave., Room 148 EB, Albany, NY 12234

    1. original petition and 2 copies of the petition
    2. fee of $60 made payable to the New York State Education Department
  • Dissolve the Certificate

    Whenever the trustees of any such corporation shall determine, upon three-fourths vote to dissolve the corporation, they may petition the regents to issue an order of dissolution. If it appears to the satisfaction of the regents that there is no sufficient reason for the continuance of the corporation, that all taxes chargeable to the corporation have been paid, and, if the corporation has stock provisions, that the outstanding stock has been surrendered for cancellation, the regents shall thereupon have power to dissolve the corporation

    Mail to the State Education Department, Office of Counsel, 89 Washington Ave., Room 148 EB, Albany, NY 12234

    1. original petition and 2 copies of the petition
    2. fee of $60 made payable to the New York State Education Department

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