Which legal structure is right for us?

Sessions take communities through the legal structure maze

4 October 2011

September saw two successful training sessions organised by CSE which looked in detail at how community groups go about choosing and adopting a legal structure. More than two dozen people attended the two events in Street in Somerset and in central Bristol.

Led by the Co-operative Development Agency (Bristol) and Somerset Co-operative Services (Street, Somerset), the two free events helped members of local community groups understand that should they be considering taking the next step of dealing with finances, they will almost certainly need to adopt a legal structure.

The event also helped take people through the process of recognising which structure was best for their group.

“Working your way through the maze of legal structures that are out there can be complex and time-consuming,” explained Danni Barrett, who helped organise the events. “For those managing or setting up a community group it’s difficult to know what structures are available, and then which one would be most suitable. These events helped provide people with a better understanding of the process you need to undergo to become legally constituted.”

Run by CSE, the two-hour sessions provided an overview of the different organisation types, their benefits and limitations, as well as the opportunity to ‘ask the expert’ questions which were specific to your community group or project – and feedback from both events was very positive.

You can also find out more about legal structures by watching CSE’s series of PlanLoCaL films, which looks at ‘becoming a legally recognised entity’, ‘setting up a CIC or an IPS’, and ‘different legal structures work for different groups’. You can watch these here.

CSE has an ongoing training programme designed especially for local community energy groups. To find out more about the current sessions on offer, visit the website.

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