Choosing a structure & registering your organisation

It makes sense to consider (and seek advice in) what organisational structure and governance arrangements might suit the aims and activity of your group at an early stage. This can help you to agree the aims and principles of your group and create governing documents that make these clear to anyone who wants to join or work with you in the future. It is also important to seek the advice of other groups who have set up in a similar way.

Most community energy organisations are community benefit societies (CBS) or community interest companies (CIC) - some are also co-operatives but in 2014 the FCA started taking a different approach and no longer accepts applications for new energy co-operatives.

Useful resources

  • Locality - guide to choosing the right legal structure for your group (download below).
  • Plunkett Foundation - guide to legal structures for community-owned businesses (download below).
  • MyCommunity - website with of other useful guides and information for setting up new groups and understanding governance.
  • Co-operatives UK - Simply Legal guide to legal forms and organisational types (download below).
  • Co-operatives UK offers a free select-a-structure tool that will help you identify what legal structure is the best fit for your organisation.
  • Co-operatives UK also offers services for registering new community benefit societies.

Documents & Downloads