An unincorporated nonprofit association, or UNA, is the nonprofit version of a limited liability company. It is defined as two or more people who join together by mutual consent to pursue a common nonprofit purpose. The UNA is considered a separate legal entity from its members for tax and debt purposes. No authority or management organization is required because it is a nonprofit organization.
Because of its nonprofit nature, it is not necessary to file your unincorporated nonprofit association with a registered agent, though it may be recommended if you intend the organization to survive for more than a year or desire the UNA to be very prominent.
A UNA can be dissolved simply by abandoning it. Of course you must be sure all debts and liabilities you owe have been paid, but you can walk away from the UNA at any time. If there are less than two people within the UNA, it is automatically considered dissolved.
A UNA gets all the benefits of being nonprofit, which include no requirements for leadership organization, no requirement of registration, and no taxes. This makes it ideal for groups of limited time such as:
- 527 Committees (political groups not regulated by the Federal Election Commission)
- political action committees
- political fund-raising campaigns
- public affair committees
Since the vast majority of UNAs are political in nature, it might be smart to hire a business attorney to protect your group or attack others. UNAs such as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the Moveon.org Voter Fund have made and broken political elections, so having an attorney is a good idea.