3.3 Sponsoring bodies and model rules

Sponsoring bodies publish model rules that have been pre-approved by the FCA. The FCA publishes a list of sponsors on its website. Currently, it lists 24 sponsoring bodies, although there are six sponsors that produce rules that are suitable for issuing community shares and are marketed as such by the sponsoring body. These bodies are:

  • Co-operatives UK
  • Plunkett Foundation
  • Somerset Co-operative Services
  • Supporters Direct
  • Wessex Community Assets

These sponsoring bodies offer a full registration service, which includes offering advice on amendments to their model rules, and will submit applications to the FCA on behalf of their clients. Details of their charges are outlined later in this section. 

The alternative to using model rules is to employ the services of a legal professional with knowledge and experience of formulating co-operative and community benefit society rules, or to write rules without professional support. The FCA does not require applications to be made by a professional person, although, as noted above, it does charge more for examining applications that are not based on model rules, and these fees are non-refundable, even if the application is rejected. 

If you have any questions or suggestions for new information you would like to find in the Handbook, contact the team by email at [email protected]