[Noisebridge-board] legal question from a new hackerspace

Noah Balmer noahbalmer at gmail.com
Wed Aug 22 06:40:29 UTC 2012

You can engage in these kinds of activities without problems, but there are
limitations on who can benefit and how and you should learn about those.
It's more complicated for board members and formal members of the
organization than it is for someone who's just using the space.  This book
is pretty popular:
There are some good online resources too.  In SF there are places that do
free training in this kind of stuff (the Volunteer Center is one), I'd
assume LA has something similar.

On Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 9:21 PM, John Cunningham <jncunningham at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello! I'm helping to start a new hackerspace down in the LA area and I
> have a question about how you handle your non-profit status.
> Say for example one of your members makes something and wants to sell it
> for personal profit - does that affect the non-profit status of the
> organization? If they provide their own materials and just use the space
> and facilities? I don't mean large scale manufacturing, seems pretty clear
> that's a no-go; more like individual projects they might sell online or at
> a fair.
> Do you ever sell projects as an organization? I'm hoping that if the
> proceeds go only to help support the space (like w/ rent, utilities,
> materials etc) then it could be done without affecting the non-profit
> status.
> I know you can't provide actual legal information, and I won't take any
> answers you give as such; I'm just wondering if you all have dealt with
> this topic and how you handle it :)
> Thanks a bunch! Here's our website if you want to have a look:
> http://maglaboratory.org/
> John
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