Difference between association and foundation


Knowing the laws of the country where we live is a duty of all citizens. Knowledge and compliance with the laws is what allows us to live civilized lives. That is why, every time we are going to perform actions that may affect others, we must consider the legal basis of such actions. So, when you decide to work on your own or partner with a group of people to achieve a goal, you must base it on the law. You must know what kind of legal figure you want to form and what the characteristics of this figure are.

One of the best known legal figures, especially because it is usually formed when a group of people decide to undertake a business, is the association. However, the term association is often confused with foundation. But associations and foundations are different legal figures. They are governed by different laws and have different types of objectives. This is why you should be clear about what an association is, what a foundation is, and what the differences between them are. In this way you can decide if it is more convenient for you to form an association or a foundation to fulfill your objectives.


Differences between associations and foundations


The main difference between the association and the foundation revolves around their objectives. Both pursue a goal. However, this end can be economic in the case of the association. That is, you can form an association with or without profit purposes. On the other hand, the objectives of the foundations should never be for profit. Foundations will always be non-profit.

Number of members

As its name suggests, an association brings together a group of people who want to achieve a common goal. For this reason, there are no one-person associations. Associations usually consist of more than three people. These people are called members and can contribute to the association in different ways. They can collaborate by investing money, work or ideas.

Asociacion dibujo

On the other hand, a foundation can even consist of one person. If you want to create your own foundation, you can do so without anyone else.

Type of activities

Both associations and foundations can engage in different types of activities. They can be cultural, voluntary, social, legal, political, charitable, etc. With the important difference that the associations can be of commercial and economic type. As we have already mentioned, associations can have the objective of generating profits for the members.


In partnerships, decisions should always be made with the opinion of all members in mind. If the members do not agree on any aspect, they can take a vote to decide. On the other hand, the founder will always be in charge of the decisions in a foundation.

Economic contribution

You can start a partnership without investing any capital. However, in order to form a foundation, you will need a certain amount of money. This amount of money can vary according to the place where you are and the legislation of that place.


Job positions

As we have already mentioned, the decisions of the associations are made among all the members. This includes the appointment of leadership positions. On the other hand, the founder can assign positions within his or her foundation as he or she sees fit.


Over time, the purpose and forms of an association can change. This is because new ideas can emerge among the members and be approved through a vote. When it comes to a foundation, this is not so simple. Since foundations cannot have any profit motive, it is very necessary that when forming them, their objectives are clearly established. It is for this reason that such objectives change over time.

Act of Incorporation

Associations can be public or private organizations. However, foundations will always be public. The constitutive acts of both the associations and the foundations must have all the information about the type of the organization. .

Documento de registro

We hope that we have clarified the differences between associations and foundations. It is now up to you to decide which characteristics are the best to the activities you want to carry out.

If you have any doubts, you can consult us in the comments.

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