Legal & Compliance FAQ

Do we need to set up a bank account?

Nope. We will hold your funds for you! Hosted initiatives should not set up a separate bank account or legal entity for the project. If you are eligible, joining is fast and easy.

Do we need to file taxes?

Initiatives do not have a separate legal existence from Open Collective Foundation and thus should not submit tax forms to the IRS. Your financial activities are included within our annual filings.
Individuals who receive income from Open Collective Foundation (or one of its hosted initiatives) may be asked to submit a W9 and will be issued a 1099. If this applies to you, you will automatically be sent a notification.
If you have questions about your own personal tax situation, we recommend reaching out to a tax professional.

Are we exempt from sales tax?

Sales taxes are administered on the state and local level, but we're happy to apply or complete a certificate for your state or area, provided that we are eligible. Reach out to us and we'll look into it!
Only direct purchases, such as those via the platform or via Virtual Card, are eligible for sales tax exemption. Purchases that would be reimbursed are not eligible.

Will OCF own our intellectual property?

Per our Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement, you retain ownership of all your initiative's intellectual property. If you would like us to hold non-monetary assets, such as trademarks, please reach out.

Do you provide insurance coverage for our activities?

Yes! More info here.

Can we receive international contributions or pay out international expenses?

Yes. But be aware that all of OCF’s transactions are denominated in USD and will then be exchanged into other currencies as part of the transaction.

Can you host groups that are based outside of the United States?

Although Open Collective Foundation’s hosted initiatives can do work outside of the US, their operations must currently be based in the US. There are a number of other hosts using the Open Collective platform, based all over the world.

Can we be fiscally sponsored by another group while being hosted by Open Collective Foundation?

No. Hosted initiatives can only be hosted by OCF for the duration of their time with us.

What is the process for leaving Open Collective Foundation?

While you entered into an agreement with us when you joined OCF, there is no contractual obligation to stay with us, or with any particular fiscal host on the Open Collective platform.
If you decide to transition to another fiscal host that uses the Open Collective platform, the process is relatively simple. If you “zero out” the funds in your account and decide to close it, you can also archive/delete your initiative if you are ending your initiative.
If you decide to transfer your funds to a fiscal host not on the Open Collective platform or to a new 501(c)(3) entity (one that you have set up or another fiscal host/sponsor), please reach out to us
If you wish to close out with OCF, but still want to use the Open Collective platform to manage your initiative's funds, you can become an independent collective.
Last modified 1d ago