Getting the Guild Association going is an ongoing project. There’s a lot of work to do. But while the Guild Association has a long way to go before it becomes a full fledged institution, it’s important to have an idea of how the association will work, and that includes the legal, political, and social elements of the organization.
First and foremost, the goal of the Guild Association is to create an organization that promotes individuals. The Guild Association should not be a support system for those who employ others. Guilds are expected to focus their attention on sole proprietors and partnerships that do not have employees. A guild itself should be a non-profit member owned cooperative, or a public benefit corporation, set up so that it is legally allowed to focus on its mission statement as the primary fiduciary responsibility, rather than obligations to any shareholders. This idea contrasts heavily with the current setup of institutions like Uber and other companies that “support” the gig economy.
Regardless of the structure, profits should not be the primary objective, though members can pay for goods and services provided by the guilds and the Guild Association. The one issue with a non-profit guild is that there are additional legal annoyances involved, which is why it is perhaps a better option to set the operations up as benefit corporations.
Limited liability partnerships are useful because a partner can be another individual, another business, or even a non-profit. One option to ensure some kind of loyalty to the company is that each member would establish an LLP with the guild being part owner. My own understanding of the topic is limited, but I am pretty sure that a corporation can be a partner in a partnership, including an LLP (Chron). In this way, since the guild is a member owned non-profit cooperative, every guild member will also be part owner, indirectly, of every other guild member’s business operations. Perhaps membership can come in tiers, based on years in service, which reduces the ownership requirement for the operation, starting with maybe 50% and ending as low as maybe 10%.
If every member is a part owner of the guild itself, and the guild is a part owner of every guild member’s associated operations, then indirectly, every guild member is a part owner of every other guild member’s operations, and has a vested interest in the success of every other guild member. Likewise, the guild itself has a significant vested interest in the success of its members overall.
Each guild will be able to have its own general management setup, but most likely a board of directors will be selected by the members of the guild, and they will decide various day to day operations, including whether to add a new member into the guild. Larger guilds might have a more complicated form of governance.
While the goal is to support individuals, a lot of projects will require a lot of people working together. That’s one of the benefits of a traditional business that employs multiple people. As an alternative to such a structure, the Guild Association suggests the use of collaborations. In some ways, collaborations would be very similar to partnerships, but they’d be more transient.
Projects and Operations
Collaborations should be heavily projectized. It’ll make it easier to split earnings in the future. Long term tasks that are ongoing, which might be common in the music industry, would be run as collaborations, running as temporary joint ventures.
Guild Association itself will likely be a non-profit or Public Benefit Corporation. The latter will give more liberty in how to run operations, while still allowing a focus on the mission statement: to support freelancers and independent contractors.
Since the Guild Association t