Cancel or dissolve a regulated society

How to cancel or dissolve a regulated society or branch, including distributing assets.

Societies will have a number of factors to take into account.

If your society is dual-regulated, then you have to:

  • apply to cancel your Part 4a permissions 
  • apply to dissolve your society’s registration

If your society is unregulated, then you have to:

  • apply to cancel or
  • apply to dissolve your society’s registration

How you dissolve your society depends on what type of society you are.

Cancel a society’s registration

Use this form to cancel your society’s registration.

See the notes to help you fill in your cancelation form.

Dissolve a society

Friendly society registered under the 1974 Act

Dissolve a society or branch

Friendly societies registered or incorporated under the 1992 Act

Dissolve a society or branch

Registered societies (co-operative societies, community benefit societies and societies previously known as ‘industrial and provident societies’)

Dissolve your society (instrument of dissolution)

Section 126 certificate

When your society is cancelled or dissolved

When you cancel or dissolve your society, it ceases to be registered with us. This means:

  • it no longer appears on the Mutuals Public Register
  • for societies with legal personality (eg, co-operatives and community benefit societies), you cease to be a body corporate
  • members lose their limited liability and could be personally liable if things go wrong

If your society is insolvent

If your society is insolvent, you must follow the process set out in the Insolvency Act 1986 with minor alterations.

Find out more about insolvency.

Distribute assets

When a society dissolves, the instrument of dissolution set out how to distribute assets, and this must be in accordance with the society's rules – you may want to get legal advice.

If you’re unable to distribute assets

If you’re unable to distribute remaining assets, you may want to get legal advice.

What liquidators or receivers need to do

If you’ve been appointed as a liquidator or receiver of a society you should notify the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

For co-operatives and/or community benefit societies, you need to send a section 126 certificate after the dissolution or liquidation.

When the FCA cancels society registrations

The FCA can cancel a society’s registration if:

  • for co-operatives and/or community benefit societies, it has fewer than three members (two for registered societies)
  • it was registered by fraud or mistake
  • the society ceases to exist
  • there’s proof that the society exists for an illegal purpose
  • the society has, after notice by the FCA, willfully violated the provisions of the Act
  • the society is not meeting its condition for registration e.g. it is no longer a co-operative society

Re-registering a society

Where we have cancelled the registration of a society there is no process in legislation allowing ‘re-registration’ or restoration to the register. Societies can apply to register a new society under a different name.