Rules governing the Quality Guarantee Mark

Version August 2012


1. Format

The Mark appears in the following format irrespective of colour:

2. Purpose

The purpose of the Mark is to recognise and affirm the associative economic quality of any undertaking or enterprise (including the self-employed and sole traders) – hereinafter 'the enterprise' – that fulfils the Criteria described below, whether it is agricultural, industrial, commercial, financial, governmental, humanitarian or cultural, and regardless of its size, locality and domain of operation.

Users of the Mark demonstrate an approach to modern economic life that fosters cultural diversity, respects human rights, and promotes environmental and economic sustainability.

The Mark is used in relation to those services covered by Class 35 (business management, commercial administration), Class 36 (financial operations, monetary operations), and Class 41 (education, training).

3. Owner

The owner of the Mark is the Associative Economics Association – hereinafter 'the Association' – an association in the sense of Articles 60 and following of the Swiss Civil Code. Its seat is at CH 2037 Montézillon (Rochefort Commune), Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

4. Criteria

Use of the Mark is subject to fulfilment of the following criteria:

4.1 Competence

The management of the enterprise is in the hands of a person or persons – hereinafter 'the entrepreneur' or 'entrepreneurs' – striving to understand associative economics in a manner recognised by the Association.

The minimum requirement is to have taken part in the Colours of Money seminar (Step 1) and completed the Colours of Money+ process (Step 2) or their equivalents.

4.2 Structure

The structure of the enterprise is such that its existence as a legal person, the management of its activities, and the financing of its means of production are distinguished from each other in a manner recognised by the Association so that no one element has undue power over the other two. In particular:

  1. The aim and existence of the enterprise are independent of both the providers of the finance for its means of production and of the views and opinions of its management,
  2. The financing of the means of production of the enterprise is designed to guarantee its long term independence,
  3. The management of the enterprise functions in a transparent manner and maintains a clear record of decisions taken.

4.3 Accounting

  1. Based on double-entry bookkeeping, the accounting of the enterprise is open and transparent both internally and externally.
  2. Each entrepreneur establishes a budget and maintains the bookkeeping and year-end forecasting for the enterprise (or the part of the enterprise) that he represents.
  3. In the event of an enterprise having more than one entrepreneur, the entrepreneurs together establish a budget and maintain the bookkeeping and year-end forecasts for their enterprise as a whole.
  4. In the same way, a budget is established and the bookkeeping and year-end forecasting maintained for each group of enterprises that meets (see 4.4a below).

4.4 Meeting

  1. Independently of any trading or financial relationships, the entrepreneur of an enterprise and the entrepreneurs of at least two other enterprises hold a meeting of constant composition and on regular basis at a frequency agreed with the Association – hereinafter 'the Meeting'. The meeting will be a real one; that is, the entrepreneurs must be in the same room.
  2. The purpose of the Meeting is for the entrepreneurs to share and comment on the economic situation of their respective enterprises through the medium of budgets, management accounts, and year-end forecasts, as a basis for building a shared picture of their own and each others’ situations both individually and together.
  3. The year-end is the occasion of a similar Meeting, at which the aims and budgetary options of the enterprises for the following year are likewise considered and made clear.

5. Monitoring

These Rules are conceived and formulated to permit their future evolution in accordance with the conditions necessary to the fulfilment of the purpose of the Mark.

To this end, they are subject to continuous review by the Association, which reserves the right to amend and develop the Rules as it sees fit.

The Association facilitates the use of the Rules by coaching the enterprises. To this end, the Association appoints entrepreneurs – hereinafter 'the Coaches' – recognised as having the competence to act in that capacity.

Ongoing fulfilment of the Rules is effected through the Meeting.

6. Use

Permission to use the Mark will be granted by the Association, without discrimination to any enterprise which applies, provided it meets the required standard and as long as the prospective authorised user complies with the regulations governing the use of the mark.

7. Financing

The administration and development of the Mark is conducted on a public benefit basis.

The costs are met from three sources:

  1. One-off application fees from the users (the amount decided and published annually by the Association – see annex)

  2. Annual licence renewal fees from the users (the amount decided and published annually by the Association – see annex), and

  3. Grants provided by a fund established for this purpose.

The Association has no other trading or financial relationship with any of the enterprises.

8. Sanctions and Dispute Procedures

Non-fulfilment of the above Rules disqualifies the enterprise with immediate effect, in which event the enterprise concerned undertakes to remove all mention of its connection with the Mark within three months from the date of disqualification.

In the event of a dispute proving otherwise insoluble, appeal may be made to the Association with whom final judgement rests. Legal jurisdiction is located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

This version of the Rules supersedes all previous versions.
Enacted Montezillon, Switzerland. 8 August 2012.

Fees Annex

The fees for use of the Mark in the year 2012 and until further notice are:

One-off application fees:
0.05% of next year’s projected gross profit subject to a minimum of CHF 400 / GBP 150 / EUR 250 / USD 300

Annual licence renewal fees:
0.03% of next year’s projected gross profit subject to a minimum of CHF 250 / GBP 100 / EUR 150 / USD 200

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