Unincorporated Associations – Advantages & Disadvantage

The advantage of an unincorporated club are:-

1. They are simple to set up, being founded by agreement between the members, no further steps such as registration are required.

2. Privacy – an unincorporated association does not have to file accounts and other information with Companies House or with the Registrar of Friendly Societies.

3. In relation to the day to day running of the club, brewers, banks and other suppliers are happy to deal with the officers.

4. Lower compliance costs.

The disadvantages of an unincorporated club are:

1. The club does not have limited liability, the officers and sometimes the members of the club may be held liable for the debts of the club and for the performance of the club’s contracts and other obligations – see section on the liability of members, officers and trustees.

2. It is not a body corporate and does not have a separate legal existence from its individual members, accordingly it can neither sue nor be sued other than through its officers and members.

3. It cannot hold land and investments other than in the name of officers or trustees.

4. No statutory liquidation procedures exist and an unincorporated club cannot be voluntarily wound up under the Insolvency Act 1986.

5. The club cannot make formal contracts, any contract which has been entered into in the club’s name could be null and void.