The type of governing document you will need will depend on the type of group / organisation that you are or plan to be.
We can help you decide which of the options below is best for your group and also help you write the document(s) you need.
In the following chart we have listed the various organisational legal structures and the governing documents that they will require. Contact WVSC if you need more information.
|If You Are..||You will need..|
|Trust||Deed of Trust|
|Company Limited by Guarantee||Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association|
|Trading/Commercial Company||Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association|
|Community Interest Company/Social Enterprise||Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association|
|Charitable Incorporated Organisation||Constitution (you will need to decide whether you are going to adopt the ‘Foundation’ or ‘Association’ model)|
|Community Development Land Trust||Usually Memorandum & Articles of Association|
An unincorporated association is a very easy way of forming a group. The major limitation is that it is not considered to have its ‘own separate identity’ but remains as a collection of individuals who are working towards a common objective.
It cannot do such things as hold property; enter into contracts; or take part in a legal action with a separate legal identity. The responsibility for the liabilities – or risks – that an ‘unincorporated association’ enters into rests with the Management Committee on an individual and personal basis.
What this means is that, if an ‘unincorporated association’ gets itself into debt, the individual Management Committee members could be individually and personally responsible for discharging that debt from out of their own pockets.
It is our view that the creation of an unincorporated association would only be appropriate where the group in question clearly intended to remain quite small and to enter into very few, if any, forms of liability.
The employment of staff; purchase or renting of premises; accessing of large-scale funding; and working with vulnerable adults are all major forms of liability. If the group was to seek to enter into any such agreements in the near future, it should look whether it is to continue operation as an ‘unincorporated association’ – because to do so would place its Management Committee members in a position of great vulnerability.
The group may decide to ‘convert’ into a company.