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An Association is a group of individuals who voluntarily enter into an agreement to form a body to accomplish a purpose. Strictly speaking no formalities are necessary to start an association, though without two people it is difficult to imagine how a one person association would operate. Associations that are organized for profit or financial gain are usually called partnerships. Associations may take the form of non-profit organizations[?]. Most associations have some kind of document or documents that regulate the way in which the body meets and operates. Such an instrument is often called the organization's bylaws or regulations.

In the civil law system, an association is consider a special form of contract often called a nominate contract[?].

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