NCVO and Social Enterprise UK
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Case Study: Land Data CIC

Name of organisation

Land Data Community Interest Company

Legal form

Community Interest Company limited by shares

Where, what and how

Land Data CIC is the leading authority on electronic land and property information and is committed to making this available to all. Through the National Land Information Service (NLIS), Land Data provides electronic access to official sources of land and property information, across the whole of England and Wales via a hub and a number of electronically accessible channels.

Land Data became a community interest company in recognition of its commitment to making authoritative property search information accessible to the general public and at the same time improving the home buying process. Its commitment to the community is reflected by the number of Committees on which representatives of its stakeholder groups sit. The Committees, chaired by a senior member of the Land Data executive, meet at least six times a year.

These formal meetings give Land Data the opportunity to consult and receive feedback from stakeholders on issues relating to Land Data’s own business and its impact on the property search industry. Where appropriate, issues raised by these Committees are tabled at Land Data Board meetings. In addition, Land Data hosts web forums through which it consults with and communicates to larger groups in a more informal way. Land Data also has a paid board of directors and every director is also a shareholder.

Land Data operates in the highly commercial world of property transactions and so a company limited by shares is a very recognisable vehicle for its stakeholders. However, as it wishes to be a social enterprise and needed a legal form that reflects its social mission. The community interest company features allow it to continue to be a company limited by shares but also to have an asset lock. Choosing a community interest company rather than a charity allowed the board of Land Data CIC to receive reasonable remuneration. This was again necessary in the market in which Land Data operates.

Why the form fits

As a CIC limited by shares, Land Data can pay its board and use a recognised legal vehicle while still protecting its social mission.