Social Enterprise – Is it Legal?

1.25 CFRE credits are awarded when this session is completed.



 Definition of Social Enterprise:

“Social enterprises are businesses operated by non-profits with the dual purpose of generating income by selling a product or service,  and creating a social, environmental or cultural value.”

The benefit to your charity of social enterprise is that you may generate a blended return which is both financial and social.

We all face the challenge of generating sufficient revenue  to meet identified community need as well as  to provide for innovation and growth.

Have you considered adopting a social enterprise model? Before you do, there are some important questions to answer.

What are the legal and tax issues surrounding this boundary area between non-profit and for profit enterprise?

Join Canada’s two leading charity lawyers who will examine some of the legal issues in Canada that can arise when non-profits use businesses to generate income and to achieve their mission!

Session Description:

If you are considering social enterprise activities for your charity or if you have recently begun a social enterprise, this session is a must attend!

Our two legal experts will provide the critical information you need to initiate social enterprise activity without putting at risk your charitable status. Learn to anticipate possible missteps. Find out grey areas in Canadian charity law.

Learning Outcomes:

  • What are your legal requirements prior starting a Social Enterprise?
  • What are the possible legal pitfalls and how to avoid them?
  • What resources are available for you as you navigate the new world of social enterprise?


Susan M. Manwaring  Partner at  Miller Thomson LLP 

Susan Manwaring’s practice focuses on working with clients from the voluntary sector. In this role, she acts as National Chair of the Charities and Not-for-Profit Group,providing tax and corporate advice on a variety of issues. When legal advice outside her areas expertise is required, Ms. Manwaring works with clients to coordinate the firm providing advice in these areas.

Ms. Manwaring advises on establishing charities and non-profit organizations and works with them to address their organizational and governance concerns.

Ms. Manwaring is regularly called upon to advise charities and non-profit organizations on compliance and taxation matters under the Income Tax Act(Canada), as well as other relevant provincial tax regulations. She assists clients with charitable registration matters and with regulations relating to receipting of charitable foundations and expenditures of charitable funds.

Ms. Manwaring has expertise in Tax Litigation and represents clients before the Tax Court of Canada and the Federal Court on income tax appeals. She is also necessarily involved in the tax audit process and the preliminary appeal process administered by the Canada Revenue Agency, an area of expertise which is becoming increasingly important to the voluntary sector.

Ms. Manwaring frequently writes and speaks to the voluntary sector on tax and corporate governance related issues.

Michael P. Blatchford, Associate, Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP,

Vancouver, BC

Michael’s practice focuses primarily on advising charities and not-for-profit organizations with regard to their tax-exempt status, their governance, their programmes and activities and theirtax issues. He acts for organizations seeking charitable status and advises charities on their ongoing obligations and legal compliance under the Income Tax Act. Michael has worked with organizations operating in all areas of the voluntary sector, from healthcare, education, sport and recreation, arts and culture, environmental, relief and social services to religious organizations. He advises on fundraising and receipting issues for charities and has assisted numerous Canadian charities to carry out their work abroad. Michael also works with philanthropic individuals and donors to structure their estate plans to meet their charitable goals.

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