The law governing co-operative and community benefit societies changed on 1 August 2014. Here are the key changes:
- The main governing Act, the Industrial & Provident Societies Act 1965 was replaced by the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.
- Other secondary pieces of legislation relating to societies have been consolidated by the new Act.
- Societies now register as either a co-operative or as a community benefit society. Societies registered prior to 1 August 2014 are known as 'registered societies' or 'pre-commencement societies'.
- Governing document permitting, individual members can now invest up to £100,000 via withdrawable share capital.
- Company insolvency procedures now apply to societies.
- Company Directors' disqualification procedures now apply to societies.
- New rules apply to how a society may refer to its registered status on society documentation.
- Sponsoring bodies, including Co-operatives UK, have updated their model governing documents for societies.