The structure of a social business

As part of the start-up process, you will need to create a new legal structure for your social business. 

The business structure of an organisation is a legal category that defines how your company is recognised by the legal authorities. It can have a long term impact on how you run your business, so it’s vital to get it right. 

Social enterprise organisational structure 

It’s important to choose the legal structure for your business before you start trading, as it impacts a number of factors, including: 

  • The cost of setting up your social business 
  • How the business will be run going forward 
  • Your taxes and liability 
  • How long the business will be in operation

People often find choosing between the many possible legal structures difficult and get stuck at this point.  

Below we’ve compiled a guide to the types of social enterprise organisation structures and how to choose the right one for your business. 

Legal structures for social enterprise at a glance:

The types of social business

An overview of the many different ways social businesses organise themselves and describe themselves to the world.

The legal form of a social business

An overview of the various different legal forms used by social businesses in the UK.

Choosing the structure of a social business

The process and important questions that allow you to choose the most appropriate legal structure for your social business.

Charitable status of a social business

What is a charity and what are the pros and cons of charitable status?