Note: Below is information on how to write you club bylaws. If you want to skip all this, you can download a Motorcycle Club Bylaws Template here.
When it comes down to it, Motorcycle Clubs are efficiently operated on their bylaws and how their members adhere to them. If you plan on starting your own motorcycle club or you just plan and evolving your own club’s bylaws, take a minute and check out this important piece of information.
What are Bylaws?
Bylaws for any motorcycle club are a staple and in some cases, can even be more important than the clubs brotherhood. Bylaws are simply the policy and procedure for a motorcycle club. If your club’s bylaws are well written, clear, concise, fair, and evolving, your motorcycle club will be more likely to adhere to them and your club will run more efficiently. 99% of motorcycle clubs have been very successful with a set of bylaws for the last 70 years. Following a set of rules will encourage to keep all members honest and making your motorcycle club’s standards elevated.
What is Contained in Bylaws?
Think of your motorcycle clubs bylaws as your motorcycle club’s constitution. Bylaws are put in place to ultimately protect the club and keep the club running smoothly as possible. Bylaws usually cover the history of the club, mission statement, and your club’s motto; although this is not required. Bylaws articulate to members on their code of conduct, leadership structure, dues collection, and punitive action. Bylaws grant responsibilities to board members and define a board member’s role within your motorcycle club. Overall, bylaws are considered a special document that gives your motorcycle club the right to exist and operate.
Can Bylaws Evolve over Time?
Well it depends on the club. A lot of clubs do not and will not change their bylaws. This can be a great way to keep your clubs founding values strong and serve as a reminder why the club was started in the first place. In my opinion, I would suggest to leave your bylaws with the freedom to evolve. When the founders of the United States created the constitution, it was stressed that the constitution should be a breathing and living document that will evolve over time. With the ever changing culture, technology, people, trends, motorcycle clubs need to stay relevant to the times we are living in. Bylaws should be clear on your founding values but have the flexibility to change over time to stay at the forefront of the motorcycle club scene. Amendments can always be added to the bylaws but ensure it is best for the club and require at least a majority vote from the membership. This is the true way to have outstanding bylaws for your club.
How do I write my Bylaws?
You can go about this several ways. It’s beneficial to obtain a bylaw structure and simply fill in the blanks. You could write your bylaws down on a piece of paper but you will find out they will ultimately be disorganized and hard to understand. It’s common that motorcycle clubs will share their bylaws with you. If you are able to locate a motorcycle club that you hold in high regard, approach their leadership and ask for a copy to serve as a template. Why reinvent the wheel when you could just edit an established clubs bylaws to fit your own.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Spend a significant amount of time writing down what is important to you in your motorcycle club. This can take days, weeks, and even months. Consult your founding members and ensure you are all on the same page.
- If you are able to get a hold of an established clubs bylaws, review them diligently. Depending on how long that club has existed, their bylaws probably have stood the test time.
- Taking the time to review a mature clubs bylaws that has kept the club running for a significant amount of time, there should be no question that the rules in place could not work for a newer club starting out. Obviously you would want to make the bylaws your own or you might as well join the more established club.
Once you have created the bylaws for your club, make it a priority to meet with your founding members and change them to what works for you. Ensure that all members have a voice and are able to put in their suggestions. You will realize that creating a motorcycle club can be an amazing experience. If you do it the right way, your club will shine and stand the test of time in a polluted scene of overnight MC start ups.