This week we had a meeting with an adviser at the Avon Co-operative Development Agency about what might be the best legal structure for The People’s Building and Land Trust. They were really helpful and gave us some great advice. What was really encouraging was that the adviser understood the concept of a Gift Economy and could understand the motivations behind what we’re trying to do. This was great because a lot of people struggle to get their head round the concepts involved.
There seem to be two main options, one is a type of Co-op called a Community Benefit Society and the other is a Registered Charity. Both of these structures will allow us to have tax exemption but each has other pros and cons. Both also involve a certain amount of financial expense.
Partly because of the expense and partly because we are keen to get started we are going to go with the suggestion of becoming a Community Association for the time being while we consider which of the two options will be best. That way we will be a constituted organisation and can start having meetings as such as well as taking donations. The other point is that you actually can’t register as a charity until you have an annual income of £5,000.
We’ll be holding a public meeting on a Saturday in January somewhere in central Bristol so we can present our plans and people can have the opportunity to share their thoughts. So look out for more info on that.
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