Information provided on this page is for general interest and is not a
substitute for competent legal and business advice provide by accredited


General Legal Resources For Managing & Producing Theatres

Arts Organzations

Business Consulting &
Fiscal Sponsorship

Copyright, Taxes & Licensing


Legal and Dispute Resolution Assistance

Federal Tax Exempt Status

General Legal Resources for Managing & Producing Theatre

501 Commons

Pacific Tower, Suite 1101

1200 12th Ave. S

Seattle, WA 98144



[email protected]

501 Commons was founded in 1989 as the Executive Service Corps of Washington and later renamed itself to reflect a changing role and broader range of services. In 2012, it absorbed some of the programs and services of the Alliance for Nonprofits and the technology services of NPower Northwest.

Forming a Corporation



A corporation is a form of business ownership that helps prevent personal
liability for business debts. Here you can learn how to create a corporation,
how a C corporation and an S corporation are taxed, and how to keep corporate
minutes and records to preserve your business’s corporate status. Nolo has
books, forms, and online applications that can help you create your

How to Form and Maintain a Non Profit

Published by the
King County Bar Association, 2009

PDF Download

This book explains what you need to do to form and maintain a nonprofit
organization in Washington State.

How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation: A 50 State



Forming a nonprofit corporation is much like creating a regular corporation,
except that nonprofits have to take the extra steps of applying for tax-exempt
status with the IRS and their state tax division. This page has the list of
steps and links to the relevant filing offices for each of the 50 states.

The Stage Producer’s Business and Legal Guide

Charles Grippo

Allworth Press, 2002

256 pages, $19.95

Buy Online

From the publisher: “The entire range of individuals involved in entertainment—performers, writers, and directors to box office managers, theater board members, and theater owners—will find comprehensive answers to questions on every aspect of theater business and law. Written by an attorney, producer, and playwright, this book reveals hundreds of insider strategies for minimizing legal costs, negotiating contracts, and licensing and producing plays. It also features expert, practical advice on such topics as tax risks and liabilities, safety regulations, organizing the theater company, financing, box office management, not-for-profit management, and much more. Plus everything is explained clearly, written without a lot of legal jargon.”

WA Non-Profits

1265 S Main Street #206

Seattle, WA 98144

(855) 299-2922

Contact form

Washington Nonprofits was founded in 2010 by a dedicated board working in partnership with philanthropy. Together these leaders recognize the importance of having an association watching the backs of nonprofits of all sizes. WA Non-Profits helps its members learn, connect, and transform.

Washington Nonprofits delivers on its mission through three main, integrated initiatives: learning programs, public policy, and engagement.

Arts Organizations


Prefontaine Place South

Seattle WA 98104

(206) 296.7580

[email protected]



Twitter: 4Culture

Instagram: kc4culture

4Culture is a support agency for the arts in King County. 4Culture offers
opportunities for all kinds of cultural funding and support in King County, with
deadlines rolling out throughout the year.

It also offers project consulting

Business Consulting &
Fiscal Sponsorship


National Network of
Fiscal Sponsors


href=”″>Directory Organized by


A growing index of fiscal
sponsors organized by state and alphabetically with detailed information on each
based on a 10-question sruvey.


Washington and Northwestern

Allied Arts

444 NE Ravenna Blvd., Suite 400

Seattle, WA 98115


Online Message: href=””>


Serving the Seattle community and beyond since 1967, Allied Arts Foundation
provides support to artists for the enrichment of the local and national
cultural experience. AAF nurtures emerging artists and arts groups through
fiscal sponsorship on an ongoing and by-project basis, and makes direct grants
to artists for projects of merit.


PO Box 30181

Seattle, WA, 98113


[email protected]

CascadiaNow! is dedicated to amplifying positive impacts across the bioregion
of Cascadia. CascadiaStrong is the fiscal sponsorship program CascadiaNow!
provides, which offers resources and administrative assistance to grassroots
projects that share our mission to cultivate a resilient and inclusive Pacific
Northwest community.

Accepts fiscal sponsorship
applicants from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon & Washington.

Columbia Basin Foundation

234 First Avenue NW, Suite B

Ephrata, WA 98823

(509) 754-4596

[email protected]


The Columbia Basin Foundation can hold a limited number of fiscal
sponsorships and special project funds at any given time due to limited
resources. CBF sponsors organizations within our service area of Grant, Adams
and western Lincoln Counties only.

Shunpike: The Business of Art

815 Seattle Boulevard S
Suite 215

Seattle WA 98134

(206) 905-1026

[email protected]


Shunpike was founded in 2001. Shunpike provides independent arts groups in
Washington State with the services, resources, and opportunities they need to
forge their own paths to sustainable success.

Whether you have questions about the relative benefit of different
organizational structures, or want to learn more about fundraising, marketing,
board development, managing money, events, risks, or people, Shunpike is a
reliable, practical, and affordable resource for the creative community across
Washington State. Programs include:

  • Arts Business Clinics are free, informal, drop-in clinics where
    Shunpike staff and ABC Advisors are on-hand to meet with attendees and talk
    about their arts business needs. Akin to a ‘speed date’ meet-up, artists and
    creative arts entrepreneurs are able to chat with supportive arts professionals
    about any aspect of arts business.

    • Arts Business Dates takes your relationship with Shunpike’s Arts
      Business Advisors to the next level. On an Arts Business Date you meet with one
      or two Advisors, in a mutually convenient location, at a mutually convenient
      time. On your ‘date’ you have the opportunity to discuss your arts business
      challenges with experienced arts professionals and ask questions specific to
      your arts project or creative enterprise.
    • In return, you pay a $20, non-refundable, booking fee (payable to Shunpike),
      and agree to buy a hot drink for your Advisors (maybe even a cookie!). Book
      dates with a call to the Shunpike office or email
      [email protected].
  • Fiscal Sponsorship allows independent arts groups the ability to
    raise funds for their artistic projects using Shunpike’s tax-exempt status as a
    501(c)(3) organization. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gives 501(c)(3)
    status to non-profit charitable organizations which allows donors to receive a
    tax deduction for supporting a public charity. Under Shunpike’s fiscal
    sponsorship, arts groups and organizations can offer tax-deductible receipts to
    donors and may be eligible to apply for government and foundation grant programs
    usually only available to organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Shunpike offer
    two levels of fiscal sponsorship: Basic and Comprehensive. Visit their web page
    for up-to-date descriptions.

Copyright, Taxes & Licensing

Authors Registry

116 W 23rd Street

Suite 500

York, NY 10011

(212) 563-6920

[email protected]

The Authors Registry is a not-for-profit clearinghouse for payments to
authors receiving royalties from organizations. It was founded in 1995 by a
consortium of U.S. authors’ organizations including The Authors Guild, The
American Society of Journalists & Authors, the Dramatists Guild and the
Association of Authors’ Representatives.

City of Seattle
Admissions Tax


style=”MARGIN-BOTTOM: 0px; MARGIN-TOP: 0px”>Admission tax is added to the ticket
price or other charge that attendees pay to enter entertainment venues or events
in Seattle. The City allows for some exemptions from this tax. Consult webpage
for latest information.

US Copyright

101 Independence Ave. S.E.

Washington, D.C. 20559-6000

(202) 707–3000

(877) 476–0778 (toll free)


This web address is your starting point for all things related to the
registration of copyrights.


State of Washington
Business Licensing Service


State of Washington forms and agencies with links and other assistance to
help you get with the legal steps to starting or renewing a business.

The Small Business Guide

The Governor’s Office for Small
Business Innovation and Assistance


The Small Business Guides provides helpful information, links to valuable
resources, and outlines the steps for starting and operating a business in
Washington state. The Small Business Guide is available in English, Spanish,
Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese.

The Business Guide includes sections that will help you plan, run, grow, or
close a business in Washington State.

Seattle’s Business License & Taxes

City of

Finance and Administrative ServicesSeattle Municipal Tower

700 5th

Suite 5200

Seattle, WA 98104 Phone: 206-684-2489

From this webpage you can find, renew, or cancel a business tax license. You
can also find links to search for a business and get business assistance offered
by the city.

Legal and Dispute Resolution Assistance

Dispute Resolution Center of King County

4649 Sunnyside
Ave. N, Suite 520

Seattle, WA 98103

(206) 443-9603

[email protected]

Organized in 1986, the Dispute Resolution Center of King County uses trained
and supervised mediators who volunteer their time to help us solve over 1,000
disputes a year. Mediation is the most affordable solution for working out an
agreement and avoid the expense and trouble of going to court. Dispute
resolution centers are organized under state legislation that requires them to
provide services on a sliding scale, and DRCs will never turn anyone away for
lack of ability to pay for the service.

Kantor Taylor

901 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4000

Seattle, WA 98164



Kantor Taylor PC, is Seattle-based law firm. Kantor Taylor represents a large
number of nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. We assist with initial
organizational activities—including drafting organizational documents and
procedures, establishing governance structures, obtaining tax-exempt status and
complying with federal tax requirements for exemption.

Neil Sussman

10751 Densmore Avenue N

Seattle, WA 98133

(206) 363-8070

[email protected]

Neil Sussman is a tax attorney available for consultation in all areas of
entertainment law. Services including contract drafting and negotiation, income
taxes and return preparation, foreign tax issues, copyrights and trademarks, and
business licensing and formation.

Neil has experience working on all types of contracts including recording
contracts, publishing agreements, licensing deals, film and television
agreements and live performance agreements.

Neil’s clients include musicians, artists, writers, photographers, film
makers, performers, playwrights and many web based businesses.

The Unemployment Law Project

1904 Third Avenue, Suite

Seattle, WA 98101

(206) 441-9178

(888) 441-9178

Email: href=””>Ask A


The Unemployment Law Project provides low-cost representation and free advice
and counsel to people in Washington State who have been denied unemployment
benefits or whose award of benefits is being challenged.

With offices in Seattle and Spokane, Washington, the ULP offers services to
anyone with a Washington State claim.

University of Washington School of Law Mediation

William H. Gates Hall, Suite 265

P. O. Box

Seattle, WA 98145-1110


[email protected]


Since 1991, the Mediation Clinic has provided free and confidential mediation
services. We mediate for the general public in the Greater Seattle area and for
staff, students and faculty at the University of Washington. Students serve as
neutral third parties to help individuals involved in a dispute negotiate a
voluntary settlement of their case or conflict.

The mediators are second and third year law students who have completed an
extensive mediation training through the Continuing Legal Education Program at
the University of Washington School of Law, followed by an additional
instruction and practice. They are supervised by a faculty member or
professional mediator in all mediations they conduct.

The Mediation Clinic accepts cases from early October through May each year.
Cases can usually be scheduled within one or two weeks. This service is offered
free of charge as part of the public service program at UW Law.

Washington Lawyers for
the Arts

Office Address:

701 5th Ave, Suite 4100

Seattle, WA

Mailing Address:

PO Box 61308

Seattle, WA 98141-6308

(206) 328-7053

[email protected]

Founded in 1976, Washington Lawyers for the Arts (WLA) is a nonprofit service
organization dedicated to supporting the arts in Washington state by creating
alliances and making legal resources accessible to artists and arts
organizations of all disciplines. Services WLA offers include:

  • Legal Clinics. Artists and arts
    professionals are welcome to make 30-minute appointments to meet with attorneys
    who specialize in arts and entertainment law. They may discuss topics, including
    contract review, copyright, trademark and other intellectual property
  • Workshops. Arts Legal Workshops are
    60-90 minute presentations for both artists and lawyers. Artists get an in-depth
    look at specific legal issues they encounter. Lawyers receive continuing legal
    education that focused on issues facing artist clients.
  • Lawyer Referral Service. Provides
    referrals to connect members of the public to qualified attorneys.
  • Links. A page with links to other
    organizations and resources.

Federal Tax Exempt Status

Links to IRS


Exempt Organizations (EO) administers tax law governing charities, private
foundations and other entities exempt from federal income tax.

* Also See Film Production Guide: Business & Legal


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