This learning module seeks to equip aspiring social entrepreneurs/ enterprises with the tools to identify the best legal structure for carrying out a particular social enterprise venture. To do so, the module will lead aspiring social entrepreneurs/ enterprises in undertaking the following four primary inquiries:
- Should I incorporate a separate social enterprise?
- How do you determine what structure is right for a particular social enterprise?
- What are the primary legal structures employed by social enterprise?
- What are the practical requirements associated with establishing and maintaining the five basic organizational structures employed by social enterprises?
After completing this learning module, learners will be equipped with the tools to determine what is the best legal structure to employ in carrying out a particular social enterprise venture.
To do this, learners will understand the considerations a social enterprise should undertake before deciding to
incorporate a separate social enterprise, specifically:
- Operating under a less formal legal structure, such as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or an unincorporated association;
- The benefits of incorporation; and,
- The possibility of collaborating with an existing social enterprise.
Understand the considerations a social enterprise should undertake after a social enterprise venture decides to incorporate but before selecting a legal structure, specifically, those which relate to the venture’s:
- Primary motivations;
- Target market;
- Capital needs; and,
- Governance needs.
Identify the five primary legal structures employed by social enterprises in Canada, specifically:
- For-profit corporation;
- Community interest company;
- Not-for- profit corporation/ society; and
- Registered charity.
Understand the characteristics of each of the five primary legal structures, with specific reference to:
- Flexibility in purpose/ activities;
- Flexibility in generating profits;
- Flexibility in raising capital;
- Flexibility in the use of assets/ revenue;
- Protection of social purpose;
- Governance structure;
- Accountability to external stakeholders;
- Entitlement to preferential tax treatment; and,
- Entitlement to grants/ funding.
Understand the operational and administrative requirements associated with incorporating, operating and maintaining each of the five basic organizational structures employed by social enterprises in Canada.
By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate Course Completion Badge
Last Updated: February 15, 2019
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