Organic Bodies

Did you know, you can make completely new people? Extra special people. They have super powers. They can split apart into multiple new people, or fuse together back into one. You can destroy them and nobody feels any pain, but sometimes they can live almost forever. All without the hard work of having a baby.

Most importantly, in many circumstances, you can use them as super shields. If you’re about to get sued, you can hold up one of these magic people, and let them get obliterated on your behalf. You emerge unscathed, and the person won’t complain or even exist any more. All perfectly legal, and you won’t even feel guilty.

Of course, I’m talking about “incorporating”, which means to put in bodily form (like a corpse). It’s to make a legal entity that looks to the law like a person. This can be a company, a charity, or your stamp collecting club. At the moment I’m self-employed, but I’m thinking about incorporating mainly to avoid legal liability in certain cases.

I thought I may as well incorporate as some sort of co-operative, since I spent so much time researching them a while ago. While looking into this again, I found an excellent quote which actually defines “non-profit” as I would mean it. It’s about ownership and getting your employees and customers on side. Not at all about not making profit.

So what is a not for profit organisation?

Not for profit is a descriptive term and should never be allowed to become a management culture. In the end there are only too types of enterprises – profitable or insolvent. Not for profit has become short hand for organisations that do not distribute earnings to owners. They do, of course, distribute earnings to stakeholders as employees and suppliers.

(from the cat’s pyjamas)

ICOM, the Industrial Common Ownership Movement, which I mentioned back then, has changed its name. They’re now part of Co-operatives UK. They still provided legal services and off the shelf rules for co-operative style companies. There are some fancy new things called Limited Liability Partnerships which I hadn’t spotted before. They came into existence in 2001 following an act of parliament. You get the structure of a partnership, as a firm of lawyers might use, but with the limited liability that you could previously only get from a company.

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