Last revision: 31/03/2023
Available formats: Word and PDF
Size: 10 to 15 pages
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This document can be used to set up an unincorporated association like a club, society or charity. It can be used to create a broad range of unincorporated associations, with multiple different membership classes.
The document will provide clear rules to govern the running and membership of an association. It can be amended to reflect numerous different membership classes, and include provisions dealing with the supply of alcohol, membership qualifications and election of an Executive Committee to run the association.
How this document is to be used
Each person who is to become a member of the association should be called together for a meeting. At that meeting each person should be given an opportunity to understand the rules and then the officers and other appointments should be made in accordance with the rules. Then, each person present and intending to become a member should sign the rules, providing their name and address for correspondence. The secretary should then update the membership register with the details of those persons, who will have become the first members of the association.
Any applicable law
The rules form a contract between the members and therefore the principles of contract law as applied to unincorporated associations will apply.
Regard should be had to the Equality Act 2010 if the association is seeking to impose membership qualifications against certain persons whose characteristics may be protected from discrimination.
If the association is to enter into contracts, caution should be exercised as to the nature of the contract and its effect upon the association and its officers. In particular the contract should contain a provision stating that the liability of the officers or other members entering into any contract for the association and the liability of any members on whose behalf the contract is made is limited to the assets of the association.
The Data Protection Act 2018 will apply to information held by the club about its members.
An association establishing itself as a trade union should have regard to the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and the Trade Union Reform and Employment Relations Act 1999. The association should apply to the Central Arbitration Committee to have the association registered as a trade union on the Certification Officer's list.
Literary and scientific associations should have regard to the Literary and Scientific Institutions Act 1854.
Friendly Societies should have regard to the Friendly Societies Act 1974 as well as the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
Licensing Act 2003 (for associations in England and Wales).
Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (for associations in Scotland).
The Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (for associations in Northern Ireland).
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Other names for the document: Unincorporated Association Constitution, Club Rules, Association Rules, Charity Constitution, Members Club Constitution
Country: United Kingdom