Governance & Legal Structures
In practical terms, governance means the overall arrangements to keep an organisation effectively run, well-managed and supervised in order for it to achieve its purposes.
Community Action Isle of Wight provides information and development support in the governance of charities, community groups and social enterprises. We offer our services to work with groups and organisations so that they are governed well and that:
- they are compliant with law and regulation
- they are well run and efficient
- problems are identified early and dealt with appropriately
- the reputation and integrity of the sector is preserved
- charities make a difference and the objects of the charity are advanced
We encourage small organisation whether a neighbourhood group, social enterprise or a club to follow good practice to enhance their performance and reputation. The Charity Commission’s website has a wealth of information, a useful starting point is their guide The Essential Trustee
There are lots of different legal structures that can be used to set up a group. We suggest you use the Decision Tool on the Get Legal website, or contact us to see which is most suitable for your group.
If you are setting up a new organisation, it’s crucial to choose the right legal form from the start. There is a variety of legal forms to choose from including:
- an Unincorporated Association
- a Charitable Trust
- a Company Limited by Guarantee
- a Community Interest Company
- a Charitable Incorporated Organisation
- an Industrial & Provident Society
Legal status is something different to a legal structure. It is important to understand that a charity and community and amateur sports club (CASC) is a status and not a structure. A group wishing to be registered as a charity or a CASC, may first have to set up using the most appropriate legal form (e.g. as an association or a company limited by guarantee) and then apply to Charity Commission in order to obtain a charity status or HMRC to register as a CASC.