As set out in 'Start a CLT - Setting up and Building Membership', there are only a limited number of legal forms that are suitable for a CLT.
One of those is a Community Benefit Society. For more information on legal forms please see the 'Introduction to Legal Formats' that is downloadable at the bottom of the page or the CLT Handbook, available in the Members' Area.
To incorporate as a Community Benefit Society you will need to register with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The FCA charges a fee for each new registration, which varies according to the complexity of the registration. Their standard fee is reduced if you use 'model rules' - these have been previously agreed by the FCA with a 'sponsoring body' (e.g. the National CLT Network) and act as a template.
The National CLT Network owns template constitutions or 'Model Rules' for a Community Benefit Society in two forms: non-charitable and exempt charitable (an exempt charity does not need to register with the Charity Commission but does still need to have charitable objects and a firm asset lock). These were approved by the Financial Conduct Authority in January 2018.
We offer a sponsorship service for these Rules to support your registration with the Financial Conduct Authority and reduce your registration fees.
How does it work?
Before you do anything you will need to identify your aims and ambitious as well as the ethos of your CLT and what legal form is right for you. Please review the Introduction to Legal Formats document, available to download from the bottom of the page, and the CLT Handbook found in the Members' Area. Please also talk to your CLT Umbrella or CLT Fund technical adviser or get proper legal advice if required.
If you have chosen to adopt the Community Benefit Society structure, we have two versions of the CLT Model Rules - charitable and non-charitable. You can download a briefing on charitable status and CBS incorporation from the bottom of this page. You should also look at other versions of Rules for CLTs to see what is best suited to your objectives. Several other organisations have model rules, including the Somerset Cooperative Society and the Plunkett Foundation. You should note that the current National CLT Network model rules now make provisions for fundraising through a share issue. Please find PDF versions of our current CLT Model Rules available to review at the bottom of the page.
If you have decided to use the National CLT Network's Model Rules we have to process your rules on your behalf. This is called the sponsorship service.
To request an editable copy of the Rules and begin the process please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3096 7790.
There is a fee charged for this service, which varies if you are a Member of the Network or not:
- Members (including Start-ups) of the National CLT Network: £325
- Non-Members: £550
We will then explain the process to you and handle your registration.
Please note that there is a fee payable to the FCA for the number of amendments you make:
||Amount payable to the FCA (£)
|Application using model rules without any amendments to the model
|Application using model rules with between 1 and 6 amendments to the model
|Application using model rules with between 7 and 10 amendments to the model
|Application using model rules with 11 or more amendments to the model, or using free draft rules
Changes to your constitution
In addition to new registrations, you may wish to change the name of your CLT (you can do this with the FCA directly) or amend your current rules using our template rules.
Similar to the support service for new registrations, we offer a support service for changing your current rules that works in the same way as the service outlined above. The FCA do not charge for amending the current rules.
Our fees for doing so are as follows:
Members of the National CLT Network (including Start ups): £150