How to Choose the Right Legal Structure for Your Enterprise

Choosing the right legal format for your project is a very important decision.

From my work with inspiring entrepreneurs, community activists and visionary leaders over the past 21 years, I find there is always a thirst for knowledge about different legal structures and formats that can be used for entrepreneurial activity and community action. Whether you want to start a new business, set up a community or social enterprise or run a project in your neighbourhood, choosing the right legal form for your activity is a very important decision. It can have a real impact on your tax status, your exposure to liability, the public perception of your project, your ability to raise funds and borrow money, as well as your personal income and assets. Unfortunately, sources of information about this topic can be bewilderingly complex, inaccessible, sometimes biased and often out of date. Our mission at Elderflower Legal is to demystify and explain, helping you to flourish in your endeavours. We have produced a new concise guide to help you navigate through the many choices open to you and understand the key features of each one. The guide explains in clear language the main legal formats available for profit-distributing, as well as non-profit-distributing enterprises, including companies, associations, trusts, limited liability partnerships, charitable incorporated organisations, cooperatives and community benefit societies. The key constitutional features and governance implications of each format are summarised, along with the tax aspects, the main regulatory obligations, as well as sources of further information to find out more. We examine the benefits and disadvantages of having charitable status, as well as the ability of different formats to raise finance.

This will be a useful addition to any aspiring or seasoned entrepreneur’s bookshelf.

We hope you find it useful and please get in touch with us if you have any questions. We’ll be delighted to help.

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Download your free copy here.

Mark Johnson is an experienced solicitor and chartered company secretary working with charities, not-for profits, SMEs and social enterprises to help them set up new legal structures and governance arrangements, manage risk, secure new contracts and partnerships.  For more information visit our website

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