Factsheet 1a: Starting a new group – If you are interested in setting up a new voluntary or community organisation there can be a mind-boggling number of things to consider: decisions to be made, information to be gathered, and jobs to do. However, if you tackle this process with a good plan of action and with plenty of help and support, then it isn't as daunting as it might seem. This factsheet lists the main choices, decisions and actions you will need to address. The checklist approach, with space to make notes, will help you to track your progress.
Factsheet 1b: Setting up a new group – This Factsheet compliments Factsheet 1a: Starting a group and contains guidelines for good practice, some of which reflect on a groups legal requirements.
Factsheet 2: Constitutions – A constitution (or governing document) contains the aims and rules that your group will use. It explains what your group is going to do and how you are going to do it.
Factsheet 3: Management Committees – Any VCSE sector organisation should have a committee of people who will organise how the organisation is run. This factsheet explains the roles and responsibilities of the management committee members
Factsheet 8: Planning and Holding Meetings – This factsheet explains the different types of meetings VCSE sector organisations can hold their purposes and how they need to be managed
Factsheet 9: Choosing a legal structure – If you are thinking about (or are in the process of) setting up a charitable organisation, consider carefully what legal form you opt for. Your legal structure can have a huge impact on any future activities, such as fundraising, trading or contracting because your legal status is closely linked with how you are governed and regulated. It can also affect your legal rights as an organisation.
Social enterprise or charitable status – a brief guide – This factsheet aims to briefly summarise the two types of organisation and some of the differences between them
Guidance on setting up a registered charity / Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)
Legal requirement - By law, if you set up a charity you must apply to register it with the commission if it is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) or its annual income is more than £5,000, unless it is a specific type of charity that doesn’t have to register. The commission will take action to secure compliance if it identifies a charity which isn’t registered but should be.
Charity Commission guides - on the Charity Commission's website you can find guidance on how to set up a charity, how to write your charity's governing document, model governing documents, how to write your charitable purposes, etc.
Watch the Charity Commission’s video tutorial explaining the process of applying to register a charity
Guidance on setting up a Community Interest Company (CIC)
Factsheet 11: Social enterprise – Social enterprises are businesses which have a clear social and/or environmental mission, which generates the majority of their income through trade and reinvest the most of their profits to tackle the problems they were set up to address.
On the Gov.uk website you can find guidance on setting up a social enterprise, a guide to the legal forms for social enterprise, CIC model constitutions, etc.
How to register a CIC – The process of forming a community interest company for social enterprise
For more support on social enterprises, visit our Support for Social Enterprises page