Distinction between Incorporated and unincorporated associations

Incorporated Association

  1. This is an association of persons recognized as a legal entity
  2. It has an independent legal personality with rights and subject to obligations
  3. Such a corporation may be brought into existence by registration, charter or by statute .
    and Examples include corporations sole, corporations aggregate, Registered, corporation, chartered corporation, statutory corporation.
  4. Characteristics of incorporated associations.
  • Legal personality
  • Limited liability
  • Perpetual succession.
  • Owning property
  • Sue or be sued
  • Capacity to contract


Unincorporated Associations

  1. These are associations of persons who come together to promote a common and lawful purpose.
  2. They have no legal existence of their own
  3. Property if any is jointly owned or held in trust for all members
  4. Members rights are enshrined in the constitution of the association.
  5. Members are liable for debts and other obligations of the association.
  6. The association can sue or be sued through its principal officers.
  7. In the event of dissolution members are entitled to share in whatever remains
  8. The law which regulates the association is the law which regulates the activities it engages in.

Examples include:

  • Partnerships
  • Trade unions
  • Political parties
  • Welfare associations
  • Clubs
  • Staff unions.


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