Legal, governance and finances


Simply Legal[Web link]

A detailed guide covering all you need to know about legal forms and organisational types for community enterprises. Published by Co-operatives UK.

Online Select-a-Structure[Web link]

A supporting tool for Simply Legal allowing fledgling enterprises to find the most appropriate legal structure for their needs. You will need to be, or become, a registered Co-operatives UK site user in order to access and use this tool. Published by Co-operatives UK.

Cultivating Co-operatives Toolkit : Organisational Structures for Local Food Enterprises  [pdf, 5.3 mb]

This toolkit, by the Soil Association, provides essential information for local food enterprises in developing their organisations, and allowing them to work more effectively and achieve their aims. We have developed it through research and through advising a number of new initiatives. The focus of this toolkit is on the law as it applies in England and Wales,


Simply Governance[Web link]

A comprehensive guide to understanding the systems and processes concerned with the running of a sustainable community enterprise. Published by Co-operatives UK.

From Conflict to Co-operation [Web link]

In order to achieve their goals and be sustainable, community enterprises need to know how to work as a team - communicating effectively, making good decisions, dealing with the inevitable conflicts and coping with growth and change. Published by Co-operatives UK, this invaluable series of illustrated guides aims to help community enterprises deal not only with conflict when it arises but also to avoid unnecessary conflict.

Different models of CSA [pdf]

Short summary descriptions of a range of different CSA models to help you understand the different approaches available to you.

Social Business Toolbox[Web link]

Topical fact sheets, explanations of various social enterprise types, hints for doing better business, current trends in food buying and consuming, and signposts to useful organisations. Published by Co-operatives UK.

Online governance audit [Web link]

A supporting tool for Simply Governance which allows enterprises to assess and diagnose how their organisation is being run. You will need to be, or become, a registered Co-operatives UK site user in order to access and use this tool. Published by Co-operatives UK.


Capital costs for setting up a new vegetable CSA [pdf, 156 kb]

Examples of approximate capital costs for tools and materials required to set up a CSA.

Simply Finance [Web link]

Simply Finance is a comprehensive guide to the different options for financing a community enterprise. Designed for you if you are involved with a project that wants to be more, or better, than it presently is. Published by Co-operatives UK.

Simply Start Up  [Web link]

A guide for anyone involved in the creation of an enterprise that will be owned by, run by, and supported by the community in which it operates. Published by Co-operatives UK.