4.3.3 Contents

Compared with other types of offer document, a membership offer document can be fairly brief, typically no more than 500 words or a single side of A4. The document should focus on explaining the purpose of the society, the benefits of membership, and the benefits it aims to generate for the wider community. It should also provide the basic information highlighted in Section 5.2, bearing in mind the following points:

  • The minimum investment required to become a member should be restricted to a nominal amount. Many societies set this as low as £1, although this can be costly for societies because of the expense of servicing members. More typically, the amount ranges from £5 to £25.
  • Any requirement to pay an annual subscription to maintain membership should be clearly stated.
  • If the shares being offered are non-withdrawable and non-transferable, this should be stated, but it also obviates the need to provide the following basic information: financial risk, withdrawable share capital, and restrictions on financial return.

If you have any questions or suggestions for new information you would like to find in the Handbook, contact the team by email at communityshares@uk.coop