RCW 48.36A.100

Formation of domestic societyProcedures and requirements.

A domestic society organized on or after January 1, 1988, shall be formed as follows, but not until it has and continues to maintain unimpaired surplus in the minimum amount of total capital and surplus required by RCW 48.05.340:
(1) Seven or more citizens of the United States, a majority of whom are citizens of this state, who desire to form a fraternal benefit society, may make, sign, and acknowledge before some officer competent to take acknowledgment of deeds, articles of incorporation, in which shall be stated:
(a) The proposed corporate name of the society, which shall not so closely resemble the name of any society or insurance company as to be misleading or confusing;
(b) The purposes for which it is being formed and the mode in which its corporate powers are to be exercised. The purposes shall not include more liberal powers than are granted by this chapter;
(c) The names and residences of the incorporators and the names, residences, and official titles of all the officers, trustees, directors, or other persons who are to have and exercise the general control of the management of the affairs and funds of the society for the first year or until the ensuing election at which all the officers shall be elected by the supreme governing body, which election shall be held not later than one year from the date of issuance of the permanent certificate of authority.
(2) The articles of incorporation, duly certified copies of the society's bylaws and rules, copies of all proposed forms of certificates, applications therefor, and circulars to be issued by the society, and a bond conditioned upon the return to applicants of the advanced payments if the organization is not completed within one year shall be filed with the commissioner, who may require further information as the commissioner deems necessary. The bond with sureties approved by the commissioner shall be in an amount, not less than three hundred thousand dollars nor more than one million five hundred thousand dollars as required by the commissioner. All documents filed are to be in the English language. If the purposes of the society conform to the requirements of this chapter and all provisions of the law have been complied with, the commissioner shall so certify, retain, and file the articles of incorporation and furnish the incorporators a preliminary certificate of authority authorizing the society to solicit members as hereinafter provided.
(3) No preliminary certificate of authority granted under the provisions of this section shall be valid after one year from its date or after a further period, not exceeding one year, as may be authorized by the commissioner upon cause shown, unless the five hundred applicants required by subsection (4) of this section have been secured and the organization has been completed under this chapter. The articles of incorporation and all other proceedings thereunder shall become null and void in one year from the date of the preliminary certificate of authority, or at the expiration of the extended period, unless the society shall have completed its organization and received a certificate of authority to do business under this chapter.
(4) Upon receipt of a preliminary certificate of authority from the commissioner, the society may solicit members for the purpose of completing its organization, shall collect from each applicant the amount of not less than one regular monthly premium in accordance with its table of rates, and shall issue to each applicant a receipt for the amount collected. No society shall incur any liability other than for the return of the advance premium, nor issue any certificate, nor pay, allow, or offer or promise to pay or allow, any benefit to any person until:
(a) Actual bona fide applications for benefits have been secured on not less than five hundred applicants, and any necessary evidence of insurability has been furnished to and approved by the society;
(b) At least ten subordinate lodges have been established into which the five hundred applicants have been admitted;
(c) There has been submitted to the commissioner, under oath of the president or secretary, or corresponding officer of the society, a list of the applicants, giving their names, addresses, date each was admitted, name and number of the subordinate lodge of which each applicant is a member, amount of benefits to be granted, and premiums therefor; and
(d) It has been shown to the commissioner, by sworn statement of the treasurer, or corresponding officer of the society, that at least five hundred applicants have each paid in cash at least one regular monthly premium and the total amount of collected premiums equals at least one hundred fifty thousand dollars. The advance premiums shall be held in trust during the period of organization and if the society has not qualified for a certificate of authority within one year, the premiums shall be returned to the applicants.
(5) The commissioner may make such examination and require such further information as the commissioner deems advisable. Upon presentation of satisfactory evidence that the society has complied with all the provisions of this chapter, the commissioner shall issue to the society a certificate of authority to that effect and that the society is authorized to transact business pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The certificate of authority shall be prima facie evidence of the existence of the society at the date of the certificate. The commissioner shall cause a record of the certificate of authority to be made. A certified copy of the record may be given in evidence with like effect as the original certificate of authority.
(6) Any incorporated society authorized to transact business in this state at the time this chapter becomes effective shall not be required to reincorporate.
(7) The commissioner may, by rule, require domestic fraternal societies to have and maintain a larger amount of surplus than the minimum amount of capital and surplus prescribed under RCW 48.05.340, based upon the type, volume, and nature of insurance business transacted, consistent with the principles of risk-based capital modified to recognize the special characteristics of fraternal benefit societies.
[ 1996 c 236 § 1; 1987 c 366 § 10.]