Cooperative and community benefit societies are social enterprise organisations registered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Cooperative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. Collectively, cooperative societies and community benefit societies are referred to as ‘registered societies’.

A co-operative society carries on its business or trade for the mutual benefit of its own members whereas a community benefit society carries on a trade or business which is in the interests of the wider community and not primarily for the benefit of its own members.

Both types of registered society are corporate bodies with a legal personality separate to that of its members. This means that a registered society can hold property directly without the need for trustees. Therefore, it is possible for a registered society to hold shares in, and to be registered as a member of, a UK private limited company.

Our experience

  • Guidance in respect of the principal legislation governing cooperative and community benefit societies
  • The effect of CCBS 2014 on existing societies registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 and earlier acts
  • Legal status
  • Registration and formation
  • Governance structure
  • The rights and obligations of members and directors
  • Continuing obligations: Accounts and annual returns
  • Procedures for conversion or amalgamation of a registered society into limited company
  • Dissolution and winding up
  • FCA powers of investigation and inspection