If you live in a co-op, as opposed to a condo, in New York State, chances are that your co-op has been organized under the designation of the Business Corporation Law, or BCL.
But what is the BCL? The BCL, which has been in force for more than a century, is basically a law governing corporations chartered within the state. And since co-ops are corporations, over time it began to be applied to co-ops.
Among the topics it covers are boards of directors, shareholders' rights and obligations, board meetings, elections, certificates of incorporations, filings, fiduciary responsibility and more. Much of the law can be found online at http://law.onecle.com/new-york/business-corporation/index.html.
"Most of the co-op housing corporations in New York State were organized under the BCL," says attorney Richard Siegler of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. "If you file a charter under the BCL, you submit yourself to that law."
Bruce Cholst, an attorney with Manhattan-based Rosen & Livingston, added, "The BCL is an integral law, and should be side by side with your bylaws and your certificate of incorporation. They all act together.