I am part of a group of people with a common goal in mind. We are not organized in any type of association. However, we have a need to hire a lawyer to represent our interests as a group and time is of the essence.

What methods are there for me to collect money from each member? I am looking for a type of tool (online or something) that will help me collect this and each member will be able to see the balance of the account or something similar.

This is an example of a group of people that own commercial real estate spaces on a given place. The commercial owners need to join to hire a lawyer as a group of commercial spaces against the residents above our commercial spaces.

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    What about having the lawyer collect the funds from each, and holding them in escrow? – Chris W. Rea Sep 12 '13 at 20:53
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    What about HOA? That's the whole point of having those to begin with. – littleadv Sep 12 '13 at 21:12

What you describe is called a "partnership" ("General Partnership", more precise).

Partnership are unincorporated associations of people with a common goal in mind. Every partner shares the same responsibility and obligations, and the duties and authorizations to act on behalf of the partnership should be written down and signed by all the partners in a contract, which is called "Operating Agreement".

With that in place, you (if you're given the authority by the partners) can open a bank account on behalf of the partnership, and allow other partners access to it (with or without signature authority, per the operating agreement).

If you're talking about a group of homeowners - you should set up a "Homeowners Association" (HOA). Per applicable state law it would either be a limited partnership or a special kind of incorporated entity. That entity can enter contracts (hire a lawyer, for example) on behalf of all the owners.

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  • It is not a business, but in contrast a group of people owning the same type of property on the same location and we need to hire a lawyer as a group. – Geo Sep 12 '13 at 21:07
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    @Geo where was I talking about a business? The legal name for "we need to hire a lawyer as a group" is "partnership". The proper way for a group of homeowners to act as a partnership is through establishing an HOA. – littleadv Sep 12 '13 at 21:13
  • oh great info. :) We need to hire a lawyer to help us with the HOA. The HOA don't have the commercial spaces in mind. I will contact a lawyer to ask him about the escrow option. – Geo Sep 12 '13 at 21:15

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