Your business will need to adhere to our criteria and we can advise you. It might depend on your legal structure or how much income you are generating from trading.
1. Ring our helpline (0845 504 6536) and we will take you through the process and answer any questions
2. Register here with a couple of key documents to hand (your legal constitutional documents – often known as Memorandum and Articles of Association – and your accounts for last year). The application form is easy to complete.
Understanding the criteria
Are you a new start (with less than 1 year of trading)?
As a new start , you can still get the Social Enterprise Mark, if you pledge to reach a level of trading, which is at least 50% of your total income within 18 months. We are happy to advise you, just call us.
Are you a co-operative?
Whether a co-operative is eligible or not depends very much on the wording of the constitution, as the constitution should meet all the relevant criterion. Currently, 9 out of 10 co-operatives, which have applied for the Mark, have been awarded the Mark. A co-operative operating to co-operative principles is an acceptable social or environmental object, even if the primary object is commercial trading. We will need (and we can help you to gather) the evidence required to demonstrate how you operate to co-operative principles, in particular Co-operative principle 7, concern for the community.
Do you feel that you do not quite meet the criteria?
We have helped a growing number of Mark holders to change their constitution and developed some case studies to explain just how easily this can be done. Find out how.
What is the process?
When your application is completed, it will be considered by one of our assessors or reviewed by the Certification Panel, which ensures consistency and credibility. Either way, you will have a decision within 2 weeks of your application.
Once you have been accepted into the Mark, you will be charged an annual licence fee which depends on your business size (turnover). From as little as £1 per day, a day at a conference or a quarter page advert in the Big Issue, you can get the only true validation for social enterprises. Each year we will check that you still qualify and renew your licence. Every 3 years, there will be a rigorous check of your application.