Looking to create a committed community for your Radio Station? Well, becoming an unincorporated radio association could be a great way to do so!

When launching your radio station, you are not obliged to declare yourself as an unincorporated association. However, if you do not want to create a company yet also offer a legal framework to your radio project, becoming an unincorporated association could be a solution for you.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of being an unincorporated radio association in the UK.

What is an unincorporated association?

Although there are variables between countries when it comes to being an unincorporated association, a standard definition has been defined:

'An unincorporated association is an organisation set up through an agreement between a group of people who come together for a reason other than to make a profit.'

Unincorporated Associations

The main elements of an unincorporated association include: members, a binding contract and a common purpose (which is not business-related).

What are the advantages?

  • Unincorporated associations are cheap, quick and easy to set up
  • There is no need to register anyone
  • The association can carry out any activity chosen by the members
  • The members simply have to write a constitution stating the rules under which it will be run
  • There is no need to submit accounts
  • Most funders will recognise unincorporated associations. (Funders are likely to require a constitution, business plan and bank account, as well as 3 committee members)
  • Unincorporated associations can participate in donation-based and reward-based crowdfunding

What are the disadvantages? 

  • The association cannot make formal contracts
  • The association can only hold land/investments in the name of its officers or trustees
  • The association doesn’t have limited liability meaning that officers or even members may be held liable for any debt
  • The association can neither sue nor be sued (other than through its officers and members) because it does not have a separate legal existence for its individual members
  • Legal proceedings cannot take place in the associations name, only by the individuals representing it

How do I start an unincorporated association?

First of all, you’re going to need to meet with your team to decide on the rules of your unincorporated radio association. Then each person present and intending to become a member should sign the rules, providing their name and address for correspondence.

If you need help writing your rules, check out this free template.

RadioKing Team Note: This article is based on our own research and should not be taken as a legal document. This article is meant to be taken as a general source of information.

Create your own radio station right now!

If your Radio station is qualified as an unincorporated association, let us know all about it!

  • Eddie Mitchell

    Can the station be based in the USA?

    • Anais

      Hi Eddie,

      Thanks for the message! Of course your station can be based in the USA, all you need is an internet connection!

      There will be a new article coming soon on how to become an Association in the USA.