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You must choose a business structure if you’re starting a business that helps people or communities (a ‘social enterprise’).
If you want to set up a business that has social, charitable or community-based objectives, you can set up as a:
If you’re setting up a small organisation like a sports club or a voluntary group and do not plan to make a profit, you can form an ‘unincorporated association’ instead of starting a business.
A CIC is a special type of limited company which exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders.
To set up a CIC, you’ll need:
The CIC regulator has guidance on setting up a CIC.
Register your CIC online with Companies House.
It costs £27.
You’ll need to create a Government Gateway user ID and password for your company. You cannot use your personal Government Gateway ID.
Use the forms from the CIC regulator to register a CIC by post.
Get advice and case studies from Social Enterprise UK, Inspire2Enterprise and UnLtd or download guidance on business structures for social enterprises.
Find out about legal forms for social enterprise.
There are also opportunities to invest in local enterprise with community shares or to bid to run a local service.
Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.
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