An Industrial and Provident Society is a cooperative society or a community benefit society. A cooperative society is run for the benefit of its members whereas a community benefit society is run for the benefit of the community.
An IPS may be set up as a charity, but it does not need to be.
An Industrial and Provident Society is an incorporated organisation, but is not a company, it must have the word limited at the end of the name unless the objects of the society are wholly charitable or benevolent, so by name alone it may be possible to identify the sort of organisation you are part of.
Given it is incorporated it is the IPS itself that is liable for its debts and contracts it has entered into and it is not those running it who face personal liability.
Industrial and Provident Societies may convert to companies and companies may convert to Industrial and Provident Societies.
Industrial and Provident Societies are normally:
- Credit Unions
- Retails Societies
- Wholesale and productive societies
- Agricultural Societies
- Fishing Societies
- Housing Societies
- General Service Societies
An Industrial and Provident Society has the full range of corporate insolvency procedures available to deal with its financial difficulties:
- Company Voluntary Arrangement
- Voluntary Liquidation
- Compulsory Liquidation