There is no single regulator for social enterprises.  Unlike charities, social enterprises take a range of legal forms so they are regulated by a range of different bodies. For example:

  • Community Interest Companies are regulated by Companies house and the Community Interest Company Regulator
  • Standard companies limited by share and guarantee are regulated by Companies House
  • Social enterprises with charitable status are regulated by the Charity Commission

In the end, being a social enterprise is about adopting a set of operational principles. These include:

  • Having a clear social and/or environmental mission (set out in your governing documents)
  • Generating the majority of your income through trade
  • Reinvesting the majority of your profits to further the social mission

This is regardless of what form the organisation takes. So if you have these in place – you are acting as a social enterprise.

There is no social enterprise regulator, but if you do want to be recognised as a social enterprise, join Social Enterprise UK and you will receive a certified social enterprise member badge to use in your electronic and printed materials.