Business Association Bylaws

Your bylaws are a legal document that describes how your association is run. Board members are expected to know and follow them.

Hide and Seek

Make sure all your board members have a current copy. New Board members should get a copy when they join the Board.

Hierarchy, Hierarchy, Hierarchy

Bylaws are one part of three governing documents your association needs:

  1. Articles of Incorporation: why you exist. Articles are filed with the State of Oregon and cover mission, corporation type, dissolution and fiscal year.
  2. Bylaws: how your organization runs: members, directors, officers, elections, voting, meetings, committees, etc.
  3. Policies & Procedures: day-to-day actions: mail and technology, document retention, confidentiality conflict of interest, etc.


The Bylaws, They Are A-Changin’

Your behavior should match your bylaws, or your bylaws should match your behavior. Review your bylaws annually. If a section of your bylaws is no longer relevant or too cumbersome, change it! You can change bylaws relatively easily. (Bylaws should include a section on how the bylaws are changed.)

Keep Them Simple

In most cases, the simpler your bylaws are, the easier they are to follow.

Let Venture Portland Help!

Bylaws are complicated. Venture Portland is here to help you! We can:

  • Review your existing bylaws, Articles of Incorporation and policies, and make recommendations
  • Share legally-approved templates and best practices you can use for Articles, bylaws, and policies.
  • Update your bylaws and policies, review them with your board and facilitate the adoption process as part of our Fee for Service Consulting
  • Get Organized! Venture Portland offers Corporate Document Storage for your bylaws and other important documents
  • Contact Venture Portland at or 503.477.9648 to get started