Starting a Social Enterprise – Legal Bits

Details -Starting a Social Enterprise – Legal Bits

Make it Legal 

Once you have decided what form your business will take you will need to fill out standard company formation documents among other documents relating more specifically to social enterprises. All of these documents can be found on the website. You can apply online for £27 or via the post for £35. There are however different costs for existing companies and charities who would like to convert to different formations. 

For those wishing to set up a Limited Company, a form must be submitted to Companies House including details such as: The proposed company name, registered office address, company officers, whether the company will be public or private, a statement of capital and initial shareholdings or a statement of guarantee, and a Memorandum of Association. Once your business has been incorporated, HMRC will send out forms to the registered office address and the company can register for corporation tax. 

Setting up a CIC requires filling out the same documents with the addition of a second form. This second form includes a community interest statement proving that the formation of the CIC would be beneficial for the wider community. You will need to pass a community interest test and be approved by the CIC regulator and will also need to prove that you are continuing to meet these test requirements throughout the development of your CIC. You will also need to declare that your CIC will not be owned by a political party or political campaign organiser. 

You can find out more about other legal forms and the registration process involved at the GOV.UK website.  Setting up a social enterprise – GOV.UK (

Community interest companies | Informi

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