Set Up A Social Enterprise

A social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.

Within this definition, social enterprises can take on a variety of legal forms, including:

  • Unincorporated associations
  • Trusts
  • Limited companies
  • Some industrial and provident societies such as community benefit societies
  • Community Interest Companies
  • Charitable incorporated organisations

This guide outlines the differences between these legal forms.

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