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
The Resource Centre - Starting a group – This website provides advice about getting people involved in your group, deciding the purpose of your group, and agreeing a set of rules or principles that will govern your group. It provides practical information about things you may need to do, such as open a bank account and allocate roles in the group
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 guide: How to set up a charity – Find out what it means to be a charity and what to do if setting up a charity is the right option for you
Charity Commission guide: How to write your charity's governing document – How to set out your charity's purposes and rules in its governing document, how to start using it and how to change it.
Charity Commission model governing documents – Models, templates and guidance for constitutions, articles of association and trust deeds for a new charity or charitable trust
Constitution for Small Charities – This constitution is suitable for small charities with an annual income under £5,000 that don’t own a building or employ people and do not intend to register with the Charity Commission
Charity Commission guide: How to write charitable purposes – How to decide what your charity’s purposes are and write them in the ‘objects’ clause of your governing document
Charity Commission guide: Charity types: how to choose a structure – Decide whether to set up a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO), a charitable company or an unincorporated association or trust
Watch the Charity Commission’s video tutorial explaining the process of applying to register a charity
Grant Finder – Ten Steps to Writing a Constitution – This factsheet explains how to write a constitution in ten steps
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.
Governance for Community Interest Companies A Practical Framework – This practical framework offers Community Interest Companies (CICs) directors guidance on effective governance, which ought to be robust and well-considered, as CIC directors are responsible for the corporate behaviour of the CICs they govern.
GOV.UK legal forms for social enterprise: a guide – This guide defines a social enterprise by the purpose of a business, with primarily social objectives. Explains unincorporated and the various incorporated forms of social enterprise, which include limited companies, community interest companies (CICs), industrial and provident societies (ISPs) and limited liability partnerships (LLPs).
GOV.UK CIC model constitutions – Bespoke model constitutions for use when forming or converting to a CIC, with memorandum of association and articles of association templates
GOV.UK Community interest companies: forms – Forms for applying to form a community Interest company (CIC) or convert a company to a CIC, altering the objects of a CIC and submitting a CIC report.
GOV.UK Community interest companies: forms and step-by-step guides – The processes you need to follow, and the documents you need to submit, when you are a community interest company or you wish to form (or convert to) a community interest company.
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