Similarly to running a business, there are several legal considerations and practical steps when running a Social Enterprise. Once you’ve chosen a business structure, there are important measures to take to ensure your Social Enterprise runs effectively.

Forming a Committee or Board

A committee or board is formed after they are elected by the members of the Social Enterprise. They are usually made up of a chairperson or president, treasurer and secretary as well as ordinary committee members. It is important that your committee or board members have the right knowledge and experience to achieve the mission of your Social Enterprise.

Finding Members

A member should be aware of their rights and responsibilities before joining a Social Enterprises which depend on the legal structure and relevant legislation. Their rights include the right to notices of meetings, to attend general meetings, to remove committee members and to access certain records of the organisation. Their responsibilities including electing general members, voting on electing the committee, changing the name, purpose or Constitution, adding the Social Enterprise to an existing organisation, removing an auditor and winding up the organisation voluntarily.

Drafting Rules or Constitution

This requirement depends on the legal structure you have chosen for your Social Enterprise. For example, incorporated associations or companies limited by guarantee are required to have a set of rules or Constitution which will govern the internal affairs of the organisation. Regardless of whether they are legally required, the committee and members will be bound by them so it is important to set out exactly what is needed to run the organisation. This generally includes:

  • What the objectives are;
  • How new members can join;
  • How the committee members are elected;
  • How general meetings will be held;
  • How the organisation will be governed; and
  • What will happen if the organisation is wound up.

Holding Meetings

The requirement to hold meetings also depends on the structure, but nevertheless, it is an important part of the operations of any Social Enterprise. The meetings are required to include committee meetings for committee members and annual general meetings for members. You must also be aware of what is required once a meeting has been conducted which may include completing and filing forms as well as recording the meeting in some form such as minutes and resolutions.

Registering as a Charity and/or Applying for Tax Concessions

The eligibility of the Social Enterprise to register as a charity and/or applying for tax concessions should be considered when deciding on your legal structure. Regardless, they are practical steps to consider for how you will run your Social Enterprise.

Finding Insurance

There are many associated risks with running a Social Enterprise but it is important to consider the specific risks that your Enterprise faces to make sure that your insurance provides you with adequate protection. It is also important to speak with a lawyer and determine what legislation applies to your Social Enterprise to ensure you are compliant.

Intellectual Property

It is important to protect your intellectual property when setting up and running your Social Enterprise which includes your business name and logo. You can do this by registering a Trade Mark in the goods or services class which your Social Enterprise operates in or incorporating intellectual property clauses within your:

  • Employee, Contractor or Volunteer Agreements;
  • Website Terms of Use; and
  • Business Terms and Conditions.

Hiring Employees

There are many legal and non-legal issues to consider when hiring employees, contractors and volunteers. It is important to have bespoke Agreements between your Social Enterprise and those working within it to cover these issues which may include:

  • Permanency (full time, part time, casual and/or fixed term);
  • Hours of work;
  • Position title and description;
  • Remuneration;
  • Fair Work Awards;
  • Probation periods;
  • Leave;
  • Superannuation;
  • Workers Compensation;
  • Occupational Health and Safety;
  • Confidentiality; and
  • Termination.

Website Terms of Use

If your Social Enterprise operates a website, it is essential to have Website Terms of Use in place to inform those who visit your website the terms under which they can interact with your site. This document depicts permissible and prohibited conduct when using your website and provides protection to your Social Enterprise.

Terms and Conditions

It is important to have Terms and Conditions to set out the contractual agreement between your Social Enterprise and your customers or clients to protect your rights and further your interests. They should cover a range of issues including:

  • Product/Service delivery;
  • Payment terms;
  • Credit limits and periods;
  • Price;
  • Defects and damage;
  • Indemnity/Liability; and
  • Warranties.

Privacy Policy

It is important to consider the privacy laws in Australia and whether it is a legal requirement for your Social Enterprise to have a Privacy Policy in place. This policy is between your Social Enterprise and each person you collect personal information from, whether it be a customer or a client. It should set out what personal information your Social Enterprise collects, how this information will be used and under what circumstances the information will be disclosed to third parties. Regardless of whether it is legally required, it is best practice to have a Privacy Policy so that your customers or clients are aware of your procedures when it comes to their personal information.


Do you need assistance with setting up or running your Social Enterprise? Contact one of our business lawyers on 1300 544 755.

COVID-19 Business Survey
LegalVision is conducting a survey on the impact of COVID-19 for businesses across Australia. The survey takes 2 minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous. We would appreciate your input. Take the survey now.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. For just $199 per month, membership unlocks unlimited lawyer consultations, faster turnaround times, free legal templates and members-only discounts.

Learn more about LVConnect

Rachel Amiri
Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails from LegalVision and can unsubscribe at any time. See our full Privacy Policy.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Our Awards
  • 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn
  • 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards
  • 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer
Privacy Policy Snapshot

We collect and store information about you. Let us explain why we do this.

What information do you collect?

We collect a range of data about you, including your contact details, legal issues and data on how you use our website.

How do you collect information?

We collect information over the phone, by email and through our website.

What do you do with this information?

We store and use your information to deliver you better legal services. This mostly involves communicating with you, marketing to you and occasionally sharing your information with our partners.

How do I contact you?

You can always see what data you’ve stored with us.

Questions, comments or complaints? Reach out on 1300 544 755 or email us at

View Privacy Policy