Industrial and provident societies

Key features

Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1908, ss 5, 7, 9(a), 9(m); Statutes Amendment Act 1939, s 33

A society that’s been formed to carry on an industry, business or trade (except banking) can register and incorporate under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1908.

Although there are relatively few of them today, the industrial and provident society remains a sound and workable structure, suitable for groups wanting to work together co-operatively and make a profit that may be paid out to members. Typically an industrial and provident society will consist of the owners of small businesses who, while continuing to operate independently, become part of this larger entity for mutual benefit – a co-operative taxi society for example. An industrial and provident society must be a genuine co-operative, or must provide a benefit to the community in some way. It must have at least seven members and have a formal set of rules. Annual audited accounts and an annual return are required by the Companies Office.