So, you want to start a social enterprise – that’s great news! Social enterprises are a great way to make a difference while also seeking to make a profit. 

You’ll need to think about your business structure, your goals and your fundraising plans. But of course, you can’t forget about one of the most important things – your constitution. 

What Is A Social Enterprise Constitution?

A Social Enterprise Constitution is a governing document that defines how your social enterprise operates. It should set out the rights and duties of people in the company – this could be members, directors and the company secretary. 

Essentially, it’s a document that includes details about how the social enterprise runs and how it will be managed. 

Do I Need A Social Enterprise Constitution?

Yes – if you’re running a social enterprise, you’ll need to have a constitution as this will govern your internal affairs. However, the matters that need to be covered by your rules will depend on your business structure. 

If you want to make any changes to your rules later, you’ll need to pass a special resolution at a general meeting, and you may need to pay certain fees if you want to update details (but again, this depends on your structure). 

Can I Register As A Charity?

Yes, it’s possible to register your social enterprise as a charity. However, your organisation needs to be not-for-profit. 

If you opt for a charity structure, this means you’ll need to comply with the relevant requirements, such as:

Where Can I Get A Social Enterprise Constitution?

A constitution needs to be tailored to the needs of the organisation. The matters covered in the document will depend on your legal structure, nature of your activities, members’ interests and overall purpose.

So, it’s a good idea to chat to a lawyer who can draft a constitution in accordance with your requirements. 

At Sprintlaw, we offer a Social Enterprise Constitution package to make this all easy for you. It includes:

  • A constitution with your company’s social purpose
  • Phone consultations with a Sprintlaw lawyer who can answer your legal questions and advise you on the relevant legal issues

Need Help?

Do you need a social enterprise constitution? Get in touch with our team today – we can help make your legals easy. 

If you would like a consultation on your options going forward, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or for a free, no-obligations chat.

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