At Make it Happen, we believe that Social Enterprise is a way of doing things and that any type of organisation can be enterprising whilst achieving social impact and value. We call these ‘Social and Ethical Businesses’
However, there are many definitions of social enterprise around the world and many academics and governments continue to debate the characteristics and principals of social enterprise and its operation both in the UK and globally.
The most commonly used definition within the UK is set out by the Department of Trade & Industry:
‘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’ (DTI, 2002).
There are several legal structures that can be adopted for Social Enterprise and choosing the right legal structure is vital for its future sustainability. The main factors of a social enterprise organisation are to generate income, promote democracy and achieve social value.
Other considerations when choosing the right legal structure are:
- Governance Structures
- Tax benefits
Since its conception in 2006, Make it Happen consultants have helped establish over 59 charities, social enterprises and social and ethical businesses that provide social enterprise activity through the following legal structures:
- Charity Trading Arms
- Community Interest Companies (CIC)
- Private Companies Limited by Guarantee and by Shares (social and ethical businesses)
- Limited Liability Partnerships
Make it Happen can provide support to your organisation by:
- discussing your social enterprise needs
- providing advice and support on a variety of legal structures
- developing multi level legal structures
- designing your governing document
- developing governance structures
- completion of legal documentation to establish your social enterprise
- specific legal and operational guidance on social enterprise
We have a range of consultants that are qualified to Masters Level in Social Enterprise Management and are specialist Legal and Tax Advisors in Social Enterprise.
Contact us to discuss your social enterprise needs and arrange a free consultation.
Download our Social Enterprise leaflet.