Social Enterprises in Ireland: Legal Structures Guide

Thu, 19 Nov 2020 09:13 AM
Author: Thomson Reuters Foundation and Mason Hayes & Curran LLP
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TrustLaw, the global pro bono network of the Thomson Reuters Foundation partnered with Mason Hayes & Curran LLP to produce this Legal Structuring Guide designed for Irish social enterprises. Rethink Ireland, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, the Irish Social Enterprise Network and the team at the Department of Rural and Community Development also provided contributions on the content of the Guide. 

Unlike in other jurisdictions, there is currently no tailored legal form for social enterprises under Irish law. The Guide provides an overview of the range of legal structures that are available to social entrepreneurs in Ireland, as well as the advantages and disadvantages associated with each. It also contains a decision tree, which is intended to be a starting point to assist social entrepreneurs in selecting the most appropriate legal structure for their organisation. Additionally, the Guide features case studies from five established Irish social enterprises that have adopted different types of legal structure.

The Guide is aimed at social entrepreneurs regardless of whether they already have a well-established social enterprise or are just starting out. The objective of the Guide is that it will serve as a tool to help inform social entrepreneurs on which legal structure is most appropriate for their organisation.