Tuesday, December 8, 2009

what's the most popular?

I've often found myself in politically tense positions over supporting groups to identify and adopt their legal form, particuarly where there's a funding/commissioning body/'mainstream' support agency in the wings encouraging them to pursue a particular formb with little regard to others.
My standing line in such instances has always (and will always) be: inform yourself, consider what you feel imporatant in relation to your values, governance, accountability and future direction and then pick a form that best matches.

And its therefore heartening (to me at least) to look at some recent statistics on the formation rates within the third sector by legal form as reported by the various regulatory bodies:

in 2008/9:
4,953 new charities,
appox. 9,500 not-for-profit companies (companies limited by gurantee rather than share, although this is a very crude measure as there are social enterprises with private and public share capital),
227 Industrial and Provident Societies,
814 CICs
(LLPs are not included due to their not being as easy to seperate out those LLP's operating as social enterprise/co-ops/etc from legal firms, accountants, etc, as it is by looking at the 'overview' of other legal forms: also, this is the first time I've compliled this list, so will try and include when I review it next year?)

It seems to endorse my position about legal structure: - the figures show that there is still a great variety of legal form being adopted with the most popular being a CLG - the form that I usually suggest as a 'default position' as its the quickest, easiest and cheapest to set up (or should be...), and also the most compatable with CIC and Charity forms, as well as being the easiest to change the rules of, or to change to another form from, at a future date.
But what of your experinces? I'm open to being challened on my interpretation of these figures (as I am on just about all views I hold), so feel free to post a comment below...

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