Governing Documents

A governing document is the document that your organisation has signed in accordance with the legal structure your organisation has chosen. The exception to this definition is that of charitable incorporated organisations which are not signed because they do not exist until they are registered with the Charity Commission!

paper with 'sign here' written on

What the governing document includes and what is known as depends on the legal structure - your organisation will only have one governing document! 

Legal Structure

Governing Document

Unincorporated Association Constitution
Trust Trust Deed
Company Limited by Guarantee Memorandum and Articles of Association
Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) Constitution
Community Interest Company (CIC) Memorandum and Articles of Association
Registered Society Rules

For more information about each of the legal structures and links to model governing documents see the Choosing a legal structure section.