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Local Currency or Scrip in Oregon

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Thank you to the Lane County Law Librarian for her help in compiling this information. (And check out her great Oregon legal research guides, too.)

SCRIP and LOCAL CURRENCIES

Questions about scrip or local currencies vary. For example:

1) Can our neighborhood, neighborhood association, or local business association issue scrip?
2) Can our non-profit organization issue scrip?
3) Can my small business issue scrip?
4) How do we create a local currency?

LEGAL MATTERS

A word to the wise: Please consult an attorney if there is any risk of liability for a fine or a lawsuit, if there are possible tax obligations, or if you plan to do any creative “money-making,” financing, or fundraising.

There are several sources of free or low-cost legal assistance available in Oregon:

1) Nonprofits: Start with TACS and then the Oregon Attorney General, Nonprofits Law: Statutes and Rules Governing Oregon Nonprofits website.

2) Small Businesses: You can start with the Lewis & Clark Small Business Legal Clinic or check out suggestions listed in previous Oregon Legal Research blog posts on legal assistance for small businesses.

3) If you need to find an attorney: Oregon State Bar Legal Information and Referral Services

SO WHAT ABOUT SCRIP OR LOCAL CURRENCIES?

Here are some ideas for further research:

1) First, run this search in Google or other search engine: define scrip

2) Run a Google search using the search words < Oregon local currency > for examples of how various organizations use scrip and local currencies.

3) There is always (or for a while) Wikipedia Scrip

4) Scrip can be used in several different ways, e.g. Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) on use of scrip to purchase stock in a savings bank.

5) Scrip can be used in charitable activities, such as Casino nights or card cards. These activities are restricted and may require a license from the state before a nonprofit may engage in them. See, for example, the Oregon Attorney General’s FAQ page on use of scrip in Texas Hold’Em events.

6) In addition, there are for-profit organizations that use scrip as part of their non-profit activity. For example, see a Whole Foods New School Scrip Program.

7) Read an article about the use of “local currency”, particularly in hard economic times

8) If you need more specific, rigorous, or scholarly information on scrip and local currencies, check out the subscription articles databases at your local libraries. They index newspapers, magazines, journals, and other research resources.

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