Industrial and provident society

Community Benefit Societies were historically known as industrial and provident societies (IPS) which are legal entities for a trading business or voluntary organisation in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and New Zealand. The name is still used in New Zealand,[1] the Republic of Ireland[2] and within the UK in Northern Ireland.[3]

Recent legal developments in Great Britain include the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, which has renamed these societies as co-operative or community benefit societies. From 1 August 2014 a new society has had to register as either a co-operative or a community benefit society rather than, as was the case previously, a society that meets either requirement. Societies already registered before that date remain registered under the 2014 Act and under ss 1 & 2 of the 2014 Act all three types of society – co-operative societies, community benefit societies, and societies already registered before 1 August 2014 – are referred to together as "registered societies".[4] However, for administrative purposes the three types of society are categorised separately.

The Act applies to Great Britain but not Northern Ireland.