Business compliance: Governing document

Your governing document sets out the legal rules on which your social business is established. You MUST operate within these rules. Key areas that are contained within the governing document are as follows:

These set out what your social business was set up to do and what you can and cannot do to deliver your activities. 

The membership rules set out who can and cannot be members of the social business. They may include:

  • the different categories of membership
  • application process
  • termination of membership
  • membership fees and subscription levels.

Information regarding the Board and its members:

  • appointment of Board members
  • eligibility of Board members
  • resignations and removal
  • length of service
  • conflict of interest
  • appointment of officers
  • how decisions are made.

Details of any general and / or specific delegations that the Board allows and process for delegation. For example, financial delegations allow the approval of expenditure, within certain limits, is set out in a financial delegation document.

Administrative rules for areas including:

  • board meetings
  • members meetings and Annual General Meetings (AGM)
  • meeting notice requirements
  • quorum (minimum numbers present at meetings before formal decisions can be taken)
  • minutes of meetings
  • registers of members, board members and officers.

Please see Guide to Board members meetings.

Templates for your Company Register are available here

These records are often referred to as the statutory records of the business. regulatory reporting, financial and audit requirements

  • regulatory reporting, financial and audit requirements.

This sets out how a decision to close the business is taken and what happens to the assets and property of the business on closure.