Societies, CICs, LLPs and more: what you need to know about legal structures

Date and time: Tuesday 26th November 2019, 10am – 4pm
Location: Taunton, venue TBC
Course leader: Alex Lawrie, Somerset Co-operative Services CIC

Do you struggle to explain the different legal structures that social enterprises can use and what their consequences are? You don’t have to become a lawyer to know your way around them.

Click here to download course information sheet.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Select a legal structure for a social purpose, taking into account the requirements of membership, regulatory compliance, cost control, finance and posterity
  • Advise others on the best legal structure, and judge when to direct them to more expert sources and bespoke solutions
  • Distinguish between legal forms and organisational forms
  • Pick out the key features of a governing document and express in plain English
  • Deal effectively with registering bodies and explain your legal identity to partners
  • Advise existing and prospective directors and officers of their rights and responsibilities.

Key resources to cascade to your team:

  • Sources for model rules and useful templates
  • A simple exercise for learning about social enterprise legal structures
  • Easy checklists for briefings and guidance for directors and officers.

Alex Lawrie is a founder member of two housing co-ops (Cornerstone and Stepping Stones), Footprint Workers Co-operative, the Ecological Land Co-op, GO-OP and Somerset Co-operative Services CIC. He led the team that developed the Somerset Rules, now used by 30 co-operatives. He studied politics at Leeds University, Training Skills at the DSC, and Planning for Real at the Neighbourhood Initiatives Foundation. He is a SFEDI accredited social enterprise advisor. He is the author of ‘Empowering the Earth’ (Green Books, 2000) and ‘Simply Finance’ (Co-ops UK, 2011). In 2017 he completed a Masters Degree in Strategy, Change and Leadership at Bristol University.

‘Alex provided us with friendly professional and knowledgeable support” Oakfield Road Housing Co-operative, 2015

“The support we received was helpful and informative – it’s a pioneering service” West Somerset Community Land Trust