(1) In this chapter:
Terms Used In Wisconsin Statutes 614.01
- Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
- Following: when used by way of reference to any statute section, means the section next following that in which the reference is made. See Wisconsin Statutes 403.504
(a) A “fraternal”, also called a “fraternal benefit society” or “mutual benefit society” is a corporation organized or operating under this chapter that:
1. Has no capital stock;
2. Exists solely for:
a. The benefit of its members and their beneficiaries; and
b. Any lawful social, intellectual, educational, charitable, benevolent, moral, fraternal, patriotic or religious purposes for the benefit of its members or the public, carried on through voluntary activity of its members in their local lodges or through institutional programs of the fraternal or its local lodges;
3. Has a lodge system;
4. Has a representative form of government; and
5. Provides insurance benefits authorized under this chapter.
(b) The “laws” of a fraternal include its articles of incorporation and bylaws, however designated.
(c) A “lodge system” exists only if all of the following conditions are met:
1. There is a supreme governing body.
2. Subordinate to the supreme governing body, there are local lodges, whatever the local lodges are called, into which natural persons are admitted as members in accordance with the laws of the fraternal.
3. The local lodges are required by the laws of the fraternal to hold regular meetings at least once every 3 months.
4. The local lodges engage regularly in programs involving member participation to implement the purposes of par. (a) 2. b.
(d) A “representative form of government” exists if and only if the fraternal complies with s. 614.42.
(5) In any section of the statutes made applicable to fraternals by this chapter, the technical terms used in those statutes are applicable to fraternals despite the customary use of other parallel terms by fraternals.