Comment on Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs)

Posted: 05 February 2018, in Press Release

Scottish Limited Partnerships are “anti-social enterprises”

Businesses being used for criminal activities, known as Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs), are set to be reformed by the UK Government.

As reported in The Herald newspaper, a spokesperson for the UK Government Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has stated: “We have concerns that some Scottish limited partnerships are being abused and that is why we will shortly announce new reforms to prevent limited partnerships from being used for unlawful activities.”

Duncan Thorp of Social Enterprise Scotland responded to the issue of Scottish Limited Partnerships:

“SLPs are anti-social enterprises. Their secrecy breeds a range of dodgy business practices. At the opposite end of the scale we have ethical social enterprises like Community Interest Companies and Co-operatives. We should modernise corporate law to encourage social enterprise and ethical wealth creation, instead of allowing certain types of business to extract wealth from our communities.”


1 The latest article in The Herald on SLPs.

2 What is Social Enterprise? Social enterprise is a dynamic and inspiring way of doing business. Social enterprises are innovative, independent businesses that exist specifically for social and/or environmental purposes. Read more here.

3 What examples are there? Diverse examples include: The Big Issue, The Wise Group, Divine Chocolate, Kibble Education and Care Centre, Glasgow Housing Association, Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, Link Group Ltd, the Eden Project in Cornwall, Capital Credit Union, The Grameen Foundation, Mondragon Corporation in the Basque Country and the Homeless World Cup.

4 Where can I see social enterprise in action? There’s probably a social enterprise running a shop, art gallery, sports centre or cafe in your local area. The media and others can contact us to arrange visits.

5 What types of social enterprise exist? Social enterprise is a diverse community and the more-than-profit approach is used by a huge range of organisations, of every size, operating in every corner of Scotland and in most sectors of the economy. A social enterprise can simply be a Company Limited by Guarantee with an appropriate “asset lock” and social mission etc, it could also be a registered charity. These are some of the common types and a social enterprise is often one or more of these: Co-operatives and Mutuals, Social Firms, Community Interest Companies (CICs), Development Trusts, Credit Unions and Housing Associations (aka Registered Social Landlords or RSLs).