Legal Considerations

There are several legal considerations you should be aware of when planning your event. If you are a student club, we recommend consulting with your university or high school on the following legal topics before your event.
  • Donations
    • Is our school a 501(c)(3) nonprofit? If so, can our team accept donations? How can we accept donations?
  • Insurance
    • Will our event be covered by our school's event insurance? Do we need hackers to sign any agreements before participating in the event?
  • Sponsor Agreements
    • Who at our school should we contact to sign legal agreements on our behalf? How long is the review process?
  • Finance
    • Where will our funds be held? How can we access them? Are there any fees we should be aware of?
    • Are there any tax requirements we should be aware of? Do we need to keep our receipts?
If your team is not a student club, we recommend consulting the MLH team to help you evaluate legal alternatives.
One common alternative is working with a fiscal sponsor - an existing 501(c)(3) nonprofit - to get access to their tax-exemption status as well as their additional financial and legal benefits. The fiscal sponsors listed below are designed to support hackathon teams.
  • Hack Club - A nonprofit network of high school coding clubs and makers around the world.
  • Hack+ - An accessible nonprofit accelerator for student-led impacts. They are a full-spectrum platform that enables students to launch startups, nonprofits, and events.