The management committee/board must ensure that the organisation understands and complies with its own governing document, relevant laws, contractual obligations and the requirements of any regulatory bodies.

(Supporting principle to Principle 2 of The Code of Good Governance)

Legal responsibilities at a glance

To help guide you through some key areas of law that affect the organisation and the Management Committee, we've provided a brief overview.  This section also includes Help! sheets for each area and signposting to other sources of information and advice.

Understanding your legal structure

Most groups and organisations in the community and voluntary sector describe themselves as community groups, voluntary organisations, or charities. Whilst these are helpful everyday references, these categories do not explain the actual legal structure of an organisation.  Find out more about your legal structure and what it means in this section.

Understanding your governing document

When an organisation chooses its legal structure, it takes on a particular set of rules that govern how the organisation will operate. This is called your "governing document" but may be more commonly referred to as your constitution. Find out what you should know about your governing document.

Community business/Social enterprise

Social enterprises are mainly non-profit-distributing, but their institutional form is creatively chosen - from forms such as voluntary, co-operative, mutual or companies limited by guarantee. They seek high levels of accountability to their stakeholders. This section outlines some of the options available with singposting to local support, links and examples.