Not-for-profit Law
Legal help for community organisations

Social enterprises

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The decisions that need to be made by social enterprises when getting started are quite complex, and will significantly impact the way the enterprise can operate in the future.

The key decision is whether to set up as a not-for-profit, a for-profit, or use a hybrid structure.  There are benefits and downsides to each approach, which are discussed at length in the Not-for-profit Law Social Enterprise Guide. The Guide includes information regarding:

  • factors to consider when starting a social enterprise, including choosing a legal structure
  • adding a social enterprise to an existing not-for-profit organisation, and
  • legal issues when setting up and operating as a social enterprise.

We have a related page on new funding approaches, some of which can be used by social enterprises to help grow the organisation, such as through seeking impact investment. Go to the New Funding Approaches page to read more. 

We regularly hold webinars introducing key concepts for social enterprises. You can check our webinars page to see if any webinars are coming up.

Extra resources

There are an increasing number of programs and organisations assisting social enterprises in different ways. This list changes regularly, so we encourage you to do your own research. Some places to start are: