Bob Saunders is a tax and business lawyer with extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. He counsels primarily tax-exempt organizations, both charitable and non-charitable, on a wide range of federal and state tax controversy matters, estate planning, and tax-exempt financing.
Bob helps all types of exempt organizations, including charities, trade associations, social welfare organizations and social clubs, in matters ranging from formation and operation to merger and dissolution. He serves as general counsel for exempt organizations and advises on tax and governance issues including intermediate sanctions, unrelated business income, and the use of for-profit subsidiaries and single member limited liability companies.
Bob also represents exempt organizations in federal and state tax audits, and has significant experience as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, company counsel and authority counsel in tax-exempt financings.
Recent representative clients include:
- North Carolina Rural Center
- Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight
Bob counsels trade associations in a wide range of industries on tax matters related to formation, mergers and dissolution. He has served as general counsel to various chambers of commerce and industry trade groups.
Representative clients include:
- Chapel Hill Carrboro Chamber of Commerce
- The International Lead Zinc Research Organization
Bob has an active estate planning practice with an emphasis on charitable giving with private foundations and donor advised funds. He has experience with the formation, merger, and dissolution of private foundations, and is experienced in the reclassification of private foundations as public charities. He has also advised and participated in seminars sponsored by various community foundations.
Bob advises companies that are seeking to operate as social enterprises in the Fourth Sector on a variety of governance and tax-related issues. He has participated in activities involving such organizations as the North Carolina Fourth Sector Cluster Initiative and has attended the national conferences for the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (“BALLE”). Bob has advised farmers markets on entity formation and tax-exempt status issues.
Recent representative Fourth Sector clients include:
- PTA Thrift Shop, Inc.
- Partnership for a Sustainable Community
- The North Carolina Business Law Council
- Greensboro Farmers Market
Bob represents his clients on national, state and local tax controversy issues. Having previously worked at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Bob has an in-depth understanding of tax disputes and how to best serve clients’ needs throughout the complex legal process. He is the co-author for the North Carolina Chapter of the ABA Property Tax Handbook and the ABA Sales and Use Tax Handbook.
Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in Litigation and Controversy-Tax, Non-Profit/Charities Law and Tax Law (2007-2019); Recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” in Greensboro for Non-Profit/Charities Law (2014) and Litigation and Controversy-Tax (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019)
Board Chair, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce (2015-present)
Vice Chair, Board of Directors, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce
Adjunct Lecturer of Nonprofit Law, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2006-present)
Chair, Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the North Carolina Business Law Council, North Carolina Bar Association (2011-present)
Member, Carrboro Economic Sustainability Commission (2010-present)
Member, Carrboro Arts Commission (2009-2010)
Leadership North Carolina Class XVI (2008-2009)
United Arts Council Representative - The Sternberger Commission (2003-present)
Board Secretary, Greensboro Public Library Foundation (2002-present)
Member, North Carolina Rules Review Commission (2001-2007)
Frequent lecturer on nonprofit matters at the N.C. Festival of Legal Learning
Presentation, "Trademarks: How Much and How Long?" HQ Greensboro, November 16, 2017
Speech, "Legal Issues for Artists," ArtsRevolution by UNC Greensboro's Entrepreneurship Center, April 2017
Speech and CLE, "Recent and Interesting Developments in Trademark and Trade Secret Law," University of North Carolina Law School Festival of Legal Learning, February 2017
Moderator, "How to Identify and Contract with a Cloud Services Provider That You Can Really Trust," ABA Intellectual Property Roundtable (Raleigh, NC, December 2016)
Speech on copyright law, UNC Greensboro Masters of Fine Arts Program class, October 31, 2016
Speech, "Biggest Change in IP Law in the Last 30 Years," ABA Round Table concerning Defend Trade Secrets Act, at The Frontier (in Research Triangle Park, NC), June 15, 2016
Article, "How the New Trade Secrets Law May Affect You," May 27, 2016
Speech, "Recent Developments in Internet Law," University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law School Festival of Legal Learning, February 12, 2016
Speech, "Legal Issues for Artists," UNCG Southern Entrepreneurship in the Arts Conference, February 21, 2015
Speech, "IP/Trademark Issues Relevant to Brewery Law," Mecklenburg County Bar, October 2014
Speech, "Top 10 Myths of Digital Marketing and Advertising," Association of Corporate Counsel, September 2014
Presentation, "Intellectual Property, an Interactive Discussion," Triad StartUp Lab for Piedmont Triad Partnership's PTP Next Program, June 19, 2013
Speech, "Recent Developments in Internet Law," University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law School Festival of Legal Learning, February 8, 2013
Presentation, "IP Disputes Relevant to Business Planning in Uncertain Times," Brooks Pierce and Stearns Financial seminar, February 2, 2012
Speech, "Current Intellectual Property Issues for Global Business," Conducting a Cross-Border Business From North Carolina, Brooks Pierce and Dixon Hughes Goodman seminar, November 10, 2011
The Chair's Comments, IPLinks, North Carolina Bar Association Intellectual Property Section, November 2011
Speeches, "Recent Developments in Internet, Privacy and Business Communications Law," University of North Carolina School of Law Festival of Legal Learning, February 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011
Speech, "Marketing on the Internet: What's Legal and What's Not," Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship, October 2010
Speech, "Does Your Trademark Deserve Protection?" Intellectual Property Law Annual Meeting, April 2010
Speech, "Art Law: What You Need to Know on Copyrights and Intellectual Property," United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro, May 2009
Article, "Can an Individual Now Use a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to Wipe Out an Intellectual Property Judgment?" IP Links, North Carolina Bar Association, January 2009
Intellectual Property Advisor, Fall 2008
Intellectual Property Advisor, Summer 2008
Speech, "Putting your IP House in Order -- How to Make Big Money When You Sell Your Business," Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, November 2007
Article, "Banking on a Name," North Carolina Bankers Association, October 2007
Article, "Trademark Dilution Law Changes," IP Links, North Carolina Bar Association, December 2006
Speech, "Document Retention and Destruction," (workshop with Nicole Crawford), February and March 2006
Speech, "Internet Piracy and Privacy," Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, November 2002
Published in the Stanford Law & Policy Review, 1996