Communtity Law Manual | Community organisations & the law | Choosing the right legal structure for your group

Choosing the right legal structure for your group


If you’re setting up a new community organisation, whether social, charitable, sporting, political or something else, you’ll need to consider which legal structure will be most appropriate for the group and its activities.

For example, will an informal unincorporated group be sufficient? Or will you need something more formal, such as an unincorporated group with detailed written rules, or an incorporated society, or a trust?

There are a number of different legal structures that may be open to your group, each with different advantages and disadvantages. This section discusses each of those forms:

  • unincorporated groups
  • incorporated societies
  • trusts
  • charitable trust boards
  • companies
  • industrial and provident societies.

This section also explains the different arrangements for combining local organisations with larger national parent bodies (see “National bodies and local organisations”).

Next Section | Some key distinctions
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