What Local Councils Should Know

Q: Can a local council grant rights for use?
A: A local council may provide authorization for use of BSA marks, words, phrases, and insignia on administrative materials used only by the council to deliver the Scouting program. These items include:

Items for internal use and administrative, informational or educational purposes:

  • Stationery (letterhead, envelopes, business cards, etc.)
  • Council and unit Web sites (where information and education is provided; but not advertising, promotion, or sales of a third-party service, product, or links to the same)
  • Forms and brochures
  • Council newsletters
  • Council annual reports

FOS or other fundraising appeals:

  • Brochures and letters

All other items require a license from BSA.

Q: Does a supplier to a single local council still have to have permission from BSA to reproduce the marks, words and phrases?
A: Yes. The Boy Scouts of America has a permission agreement specifically for this purpose. It's called a Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement. This agreement allows a company doing business with a single local council to reproduce product for that council, without royalties, fees, or quarterly reporting (although an annual report is required), provided that the gross sales to that local council does not exceed $25,000 in a calendar year.

Q: How does my local supplier obtain a Single Council Product Sourcing Agreement? How does this process work?
A: Your local supplier can visit www.scouting.org/licensing to start the process. The supplier completes and online form which automatically generates the Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement for printing. The local supplier will print the form, secure the council executive's signature and fax a copy of the signed Agreement to BSA at (704) 588-7587 for record keeping purposes. There are no application fees for the Single Council Product Sourcing Agreement.

Q: The Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement requires (2) signatures. Who should they come from?
A: For single council suppliers, only the president or the owner of the company can execute the Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement as it is a binding legal agreement between the council supplier and BSA. For BSA, the signature of the Local Council Scout Executive is required.

Q: How is licensing enforced?
A: The licensing process provides the structure for monitoring. This process, along with quarterly reporting of orders, periodic licensee audits and penalties for non-compliance, provide the accepted licensing industry standard for enforcement.
Existing licensees are also helpful in that they identify unauthorized products in the market and bring these items or services to our attention.

Q: My T-shirt supplier is small, gives us a break on our t-shirts, and only produces a few T-shirts a year for special events. His average order is just $100. Does he still need a license? He's not making any real money and the application fees are too high for him.
A: If your local supplier is servicing a single council and located within the local council service area, your local supplier may qualify for a Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement.

If your local supplier does not meet the minimum requirements for a Single Council Product Sourcing Agreement, that supplier must submit a license application to BSA Licensing for review and adhere to all terms and conditions set forth by BSA Licensing should a product license be granted.

Q: Do local printers for council publications have to be approved and if so how long will the approval take?
A:
For council newsletters, FOS brochures, council informational brochures, annual reports, forms, and other administrative printing, no license or royalty is required for reproduction of BSA Trademarks.

Q: Can councils or units only purchase t-shirts and other logo design items from an approved licensee?
A: Yes, assuming that there is BSA mark, word or phrase on the products purchased.

Q: How long does it take a council to get their local supplier approved?
A: A minimum of 2 to 4 weeks, but it's generally dependent of the responsiveness of the supplier and the completeness of the application. The average application is currently taking approximately 30 days at this time; however, we have a process in place for working with suppliers who have applied so that they can meet council camp orders and other deadlines. We've been doing this since October 2006.

Q: Do units have to go through the same process?
A: The process for licensing belongs to the supplier, not a unit or council. Suppliers to units must be under license. Units must also adhere to the same process when using BSA Trademarks on products. Some councils have already established procedures for units with regard to using BSA Trademarks on products.

Q: Can we do anything to speed up the process of a supplier receiving a license for an item?
A: We work with all suppliers once they've submitted the application, to ensure council deadlines are met whenever possible. The speed of the process is determined largely by the completeness of the supplier's application and their responsiveness to information requests.

Q: Why can't a supplier who is licensed for one item, be approved for others without a repeat of the application process?
A: Once a supplier is licensed, they can apply to add other products for resale under their current license. They do not have to go through the entire application process to add a product or item. Forms are provided to them for these types of requests.

Q: Are companies providing donations required to be "licensed"?
A: When products are donated to a local council we have required that a Council Royalty Wavier Request be completed. This one page form essentially grants a license or permission for one-time use of the mark on the donated product. For Legal purposes, the use of this form is still required and is available for download at www.scouting.org/licensing. There are no fees associated with securing permission for use of BSA trademarks on products donated to local councils.

Q: Would a local company, such as a soft drink bottler, need a license to provide signs for the council to use in promoting a council event?
A:
Yes, unless local supplier qualifies for a Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement. If the signs are donated, a council waiver form is required. Note that the council waiver provides a one-time use of the marks for these specific purposes, but does not require a royalty.

Q: Would a sign company need a license to provide signage for camp free of charge?
A: Yes, unless local supplier qualifies for a Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement. If the signs are donated, a council waiver form is required. Note that the council waiver provides a one-time use of the marks for these specific purposes, but does not require a royalty.

Q: What terms would be imposed on a council that is selling leftover camp shirts, patches, etc., if they sold them at a loss or at cost just to get rid of the inventory?
A: If product being sold is purchased through a licensed supplier, the council has no additional responsibility. If not, the council's distributorship is at risk.

Q: Would a local company that is printing school night flyers, FOS flyers, etc. for free need to obtain a license and pay a fee for doing so?
A: Yes, unless local supplier qualifies for a Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement. If the flyers are donated, a council waiver form is required. Note that the council waiver provides a one-time use of the marks for these specific purposes, but does not require a royalty.

Q: When a local company president offers to produce School Night incentives at no cost, will he need to obtain a license before he produces them? What if the company is overseas?
A: Yes, unless local supplier qualifies for a Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement. If the incentives donated, a council waiver form is required. Note that the council waiver provides a one-time use of the marks for these specific purposes, but does not require a royalty.

If the manufacturer is not the person donating the product (either produced domestically or offshore), then they have to provide paperwork to adhere to BSA's code of conduct for third-party manufacturing. If the manufacturer refuses to comply with the code of conduct or is otherwise suspect, a license may not be granted.

Q: The council wants to honor local donors at camp with a bronze plaque. It has one or more BSA symbols on it. Does the foundry need a license to produce it?
A:
Yes, unless local supplier qualifies for a Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement. If the plaques are donated, a council waiver form is required. Note that the council waiver provides a one-time use of the marks for the specific purpose, but does not require a royalty.

Q: If a council wants to run an advertisement for its distinguished citizen dinner on the local cable channel will the cable network need to obtain a license to air the ad?
A:
The company using the marks in advertising (not the media outlet used) must have it approved prior to using. This applies to all advertising and marketing, not just TV.

Q: When a local council or OA lodge wants to produce "Where to go Camping" CDs, would the volunteer doing the development or reproduction need a license?
A:
The supplier producing the video is required to have a license.

Q: How are the royalties determined? Are royalties paid per use or per mark?
A:
Royalties assigned are based on a variety of factors, including industry standards for a specific category, overall volume of production, and distribution channels. Royalties are typically calculated and paid on overall net sales for the Licensed Product, not on a specific mark or use; however, this is dependent on the specifics of the situation. For single council suppliers, we standardize the royalty rate across the category to level the playing field in the council distribution channel.

Q: May a local supplier produce materials for resale at council's summer camp trading post?
A:
A single council supplier may produce materials for the local council for resale at a camp trading post provided the supplier has a valid Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement. A single council supplier may not produce materials bearing BSA trademarks for units or other third parties where these materials are for resale.

Q: May a single council supplier sell products online?
A:
Selling online would allow units from other councils or other local councils to purchase from the supplier. Selling online, therefore, is not permitted under the terms of the Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement.

Q: Are authorizations and paperwork still required for approval to use the marks?
A:
The local council assumes the responsibility to ensure that BSA trademarks carry the proper attributions and statutory marks for those suppliers operating under a Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement. Assistance can be provided by contacting BSA Legal at 972-580-2000 or BSA Licensing at licensing@scouting.org.

Q: Can a single council supplier become a "multiple council" licensee?
A:
Yes, a single council supplier may apply to become a Philmont National Council or Local Council licensee. There is an application fee of $250, the applicant is subject to the licensee application review process, and must meet all requirements to be licensed at this level.

Q: Can a single council supplier under the Single Council Product Sourcing Agreement use the Official Licensee Seal?
A:
A single council supplier has limited permission to use the marks, words and phrases of BSA specifically for local council purposes. A single council supplier is not considered an Official Boy Scouts of America Licensee and cannot use the Official BSA Licensee Seal or refer to itself as an "Official BSA Licensee" or "Official BSA Vendor" or "Official BSA Supplier."

Q: May a local council resell materials purchased from a single council supplier at the council's camp trading post?
A:
A local council may resell materials purchased or donated from a single council supplier at the council's camp trading post, provided that the single council supplier has a valid Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement, and that such sales are not in violation of the council's Distributor Agreement with BSA National Council, Supply Group. Council trading posts are not subject to the terms of the Distributor Agreement unless the council intends to operate the trading post as a day-to-day operation.

Q: What about National Council groups, divisions, departments and services?
A:
The Single Council Supplier Product Sourcing Agreement covers only suppliers to the local council under the parameters of this Agreement. Those local suppliers under this Agreement may not sell to National Council groups, divisions, departments or services. National Council groups, divisions, departments and services are subject to BSA's Purchasing and Contract Approval Policies and Procedures or may purchase from Official BSA Licensees.