Most groups which want to develop a renewable energy project will need to have the appropriate governance in place such as a Development Trust, a Charitable Trust, a constituted Voluntary Organisation or some form of Social Enterprise. Advice is available from the social enterprise team and from our Topic Sheet on Social Enterprise.
Legal advice is usually required for more complex renewable energy projects when there is a requirement for setting up new companies, reviewing financial contracts or joint venture organisations. The majority of grant and loan funding will pay for associated legal fees but a limited amount of free professional legal advice for renewable energy projects can be accessed if groups are members of umbrella organisations.
Local Energy Scotland through the CARES Toolkit offer advice on obtaining legal advice as well as project planning tools including templates for legal agreements.
Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) supports third sector organisations. Like many umbrella organisations offer members a free legal advice service.
Senscot Legal offers affordable legal advice of the highest quality to social enterprises and the wider third sector.
The Federation of Small Businesses is set up to promote and protect the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms (including social enterprises). As a member you are covered by a legal protection scheme.
Co-operatives UK offer a "simply" set of practical guides free to download. Simply Legal is a clear, simple and understandable guide to the legal and governance processes required to support the third sector from co-operatives to social enterprises.
LawWorks aims to provide free legal help to individuals and community groups who cannot afford to pay. The website provides case studies, talks and free advice on a variety of issues relevant to community groups. There are also opportunities for pro bono work to be carried out by a trained legal professional.