Industrial and Provident Society

Industrial and Provident Societies are registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1893-2018.

The 1893 Act provides for a society to be registered to engage in any industry, business or trade authorised by its rules. Registration under the Act renders a society a body corporate with limited liability. Industrial and provident societies, better known as co-operatives, operate across a wide range of industries, trades and businesses. The biggest and best-known are in the agriculture and food areas.

Please note that Fees for Industrial and Provident Societies were changed by Statutory Instrument August 2018. See Fees - Ind and Prov Societies.

Registration of Industrial & Provident Society

In order to register an industrial and provident society, the grouping involved, which must consist of at least seven people, must draw up a set of rules governing the operation of the society. The rules must as a minimum contain the matters required to be provided for by the second Schedule of the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1893. The rules, together with the prescribed application form and fee are submitted to the Registrar for examination and, once the rules are found to be in accordance with statute, the society is registered.

There are a couple of representative groups for co-operatives with whom the Registrar has agreed forms of Model Rules which can be used in the registration of societies. The Irish Co-operative Organisation Society Limited ICOS has agreed Model Rules for straightforward co-operatives, as well as co-operatives involved in horticulture, fishing, sheep breeding and group water schemes. ICOS can also assist in the establishment and registration of a co-operative (a service for which it will charge a fee). Another representative group is the Co-Operative Housing Ireland Society Limited.

Beneficial Ownership

The Department of Finance has advised that a Statutory Instrument is expected to be made in the coming months assigning separate legal responsibility to the Registrar of Companies for the establishment and maintenance of the central register of beneficial ownership of companies and industrial and provident societies (I&Ps).  The Department of Finance has indicated that it is currently on track to have the beneficial ownership elements of the 4th Directive transposed by Q4 2018.

See also