Do you have access to the most recent company accounts and governing documents (your company constitution i.e. articles of association) for your organisation?
You will need to answer questions referring to relevant details from these documents, therefore it is important that you have access to the information they contain.
Is your organisation independent, with its own constitution and governance?
You will need to confirm that no other public or Government agency, or other private corporate bodies hold decision making control of the organisation.
Does your organisation earn at least 50% of income from trading?*
You will need to prove that at least 50% of your income comes from trading. Trading income is defined as income from sales, fees, contracts, service level agreements but NOT pure grant awards, investment income, donations and loans. This information can be found in your company annual accounts.
*In response to the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have agreed a temporary relaxation of the trading income criterion – provided the trading criterion requirement was being met before the outset of the pandemic , any failure to meet it following this will not count against an organisation’s eligibility to hold the Social Enterprise Mark.
Has your organisation been operating for at least 1 year?
If your organisation has been operating for less than a year, you will need to provide evidence that the organisation has started trading, e.g. business bank statement, VAT return, contracts in place. You will also need to pledge to earn at least 50% of income from trading within 18 months of achieving the Mark.
Does your organisation have social and/or environmental aims, and are you committed to investing at least 51% of any annual profits in such purposes, as well as any residual assets should the business dissolve?
Your constitution should ideally define your social objectives, but at the very least confirm that you are trading in support of a clear social and/or environmental purpose, and that a principal proportion (51% or more) of any profit made* by the business is dedicated to such purposes, as well as any remaining assets, if your organisation was to close.
Can you demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved?
You must confirm how you have strived to fulfil your social purpose over the previous year. This involves answering a set of questions designed to explore this.
Ready to apply?
If you are still unsure about whether to apply, please review the key benefits for your organisation.
How the application process works:
- Please start the application by completing the registration form – you will then be directed to the main application form
- After your application is submitted, we will start the assessment process to check you meet the criteria
- If your application meets the criteria, you will be given provisional approval, at which point you will be invoiced for the annual licence fee
- Once the invoice is paid, you will be granted full approval and sent a Welcome Pack within 2 weeks of approval
- You will be able to use the Social Enterprise Mark logo immediately to promote your status as an accredited social enterprise