Register your society

Find out whether you should register your society and how to do so.

Whether to register

If you register your mutual society it will:

  • be legally separate from the people who run it, and will be able to
    • enter into contracts with others – making it easier to open bank accounts
    • continue to exist even if its membership changes 
  • have separate finances from your personal ones
  • have limited liability, which means members are only liable for the capital share they hold
  • have shares and shareholders
  • appear on the Mutuals Public Register

Before you apply

Before you register a society you will need to be clear about the type of society and the business you will be carrying out. 

Most people work with a sponsoring body to register a society.

Create your society's rules

Before you register your society you will need governing rules. To help you create them you can use a sponsoring body’s model rules. Sponsoring bodies are organisations that sponsor a model set of rules which we have accepted. Once we've accepted a set of model rules, you can be confident that it covers everything required by the legislation. Your fee to register with us may also be lower if you use a sponsoring body's model rules. Some sponsoring bodies will also submit your application to us on your behalf.

You need to contact the sponsoring body before you use their rules. You may want to contact several, to see which one best suits your society. See our list of sponsoring bodies.

You may also draft and submit your rules yourself. Our Guidance has more information on society's rules.


If you are not using a sponsoring body, the quickest and easiest way to submit your application is through the Mutuals Society Portal

Or you can download a Word version of the form: 

Application fee

Applications fees are between £40 and £950, depending on whether you use model rules, use model rules with changes or freely draft your own rules. The level of fees you must pay are set out in the application form.

How long it takes

We aim to register at least 90% of valid applications within 15 working days of receipt. If you are registering a credit union it can take up to a year. 

Once your society is registered it will appear on the Mutuals Public Register. We will also create a certificate confirming registration.