How to Form a Municipality

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Creating a new town is complicated, takes time and involves numerous persons. Paperwork, documentation and various online sources are used to either form a municipality or to change the name of a city from one to another, and this should not be accomplished without assistance.

When creating towns, cities and similar locations as a municipality, there are numerous forms that multiple individuals in authority must sign, approve and file with others. Additionally, there must be an area that is renamed or that is formed into the town physically. The region must have a certain amount of persons within, and then to accrue revenue, the location needs businesses. This includes fire stations, a power plant, law enforcement agencies and residents. Without all of these working together, the town will not thrive even if it is created with only a few buildings and a dozen individuals.

There are often different rules and regulations with creating a municipal incorporation. This could require at least a 51 percent of voters of eligible age in order for the municipality to become real. A surveyor is necessary to draw the boundary lines and ensure the square miles are recorded. This may entail convincing citizens of the idea of creating the town if there are buildings and persons within the boundary lines. Other officials need to record the vote and ensure the paperwork is sent to the correct areas. Then, a legal representative is often needed to ensure the entire situation is valid and legal within the state laws.

The Initial Stages

After plans have been drawn up, it is important to contact the citizens and neighbors. Without support, a municipal cannot be created due to the vote necessary. Each person of voting age and eligible to give a vote for the process should be contacted. While only 51 percent of votes is needed, the more support garnered, the greater the cooperation in the town after incorporation. Because creating a new town is easier than when one secedes or when starting an unincorporated community, the authorities may not have as many steps to complete. The number of individuals in the area could cause problems if there are hundreds or thousands however.

Lawyers that understand the documentation involved in these matters are needed. This legal professional will assist with the entire event. Then, a petition must be signed by those citizens that will live in the town. The amount of persons on the petition may change based on the state such as ten percent or 100 individuals no matter how many reside in the location. A name must be proposed, and sometimes a form of government is needed. This could include a mayor-council, council-manager, a type of commission or town meeting representation. However, options may be limited by state restrictions through size of the community or other factors.

Complications in Forming the Municipality

The location where the town is to be created could lead to complications through restrictions based on the state laws or local ordinances. Before fully committing to the action, it is imperative that these details are completely researched. These limitations may include how many persons must be considered citizens of the town, a certain amount of miles or feet from cities or other towns already incorporated and similar restrictions. There are additional details necessary such as the description of the town, the exact geographical coordinates and where the town line boundaries reside. These all assist other officials for creating or managing similar town lines.

Annexation into a city or other town is a concern which may lead to keeping the community unincorporated. However, if these fears are groundless through contacting the authorities in these locations, the creation may proceed. Towns that are incorporated control zoning, what is built in the boundaries and where these properties are placed. This affects the value of property, taxes and how the location will eventually look overall. This could protect the citizens and the real estate in the area. Additionally, the persons creating the municipality should ensure there are various professionals involved in the town’s finances such as taxes, the funds through an accountant and legal issues with a lawyer.

Legal Help with a Municipality

Once all the details have been finalized and the officials in the area have been contacted, there are often legal documents that must be filed and sent to others regarding the municipality creation. The legal representation hired for these matters becomes crucial in assisting the town thriving through the initial stages of completion.


Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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