A new page in the community shares story with legislation change

13th Aug 2014

A new law came into force on 1 August that brings together 50 years of legislation around co-operative and community benefit societies, unveiling a new page in the community shares story with the overhaul of society law.

The Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act is the fourth consolidation Act in the legislation's history; and for the first time since 1965 the law governing societies can be found in one principal Act.

A key implication of the new act is that any new societies registered on or after 1 August will be referred to as a co-operative society or a community benefit society. This formal distinction is a welcome development, especially with respect to societies raising investment through community shares, as it will provide upmost clarity as to the overall purpose of the enterprise.

To mark this event, the Community Shares Unit has produced a short summary which sets out how the new act will affect existing and new societies, and their plans for launching community share offers.

Furthermore, Co-operatives UK has produced a revised ‘Handbook of Co-operative and Community Benefit Society Law’, which is the only comprehensive legal text on this area of law. You can now pre-order your copy here.