Larabelles updates November 2020

Zuzana K • November 17, 2020

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It may seem that things are quiet, but a lot has been happening behind the scenes.

I have been deep in the legal stuff. Before Larabelles can accept any financial sponsorship, I need to set us up as a legal entity with its own bank account, book-keeping and accountant. I was really hoping to have any financial donations tax-deductible. However, this proved difficult.

Since I am based in the UK, Larabelles will be a legal entity under UK law. I was deciding between registering Larabelles as a CIC - Community Interest Company and a charity.

Disclaimer: I am not an accountant, or an advisor, (I have, however, consulted my accountant and many other people), the below is the outcome of my research to the best of my ability:

CIC is a type of not-for-profit limited company, and its primary purpose is the benefit of a specific community. CIC is not driven by the need to maximise the financial profit of its owners or shareholder; rather, it is driven by achieving public good. When registering a CIC, the founder must fill out a form describing which community will the company serve and how, and how it will use its assets, and a similar report has to be filled out every year, reporting how the company benefited the chosen community. The downside of a CIC is that it doesn't have the same tax advantages as charities do, and it doesn't have access to the same kind of funding by external bodies and grants.

Charity is similar to CIC since it is also established for public benefit, not for profit. There is a lot more involved in setting up a charity, it needs to have at least three trustees when being registered, and there are strict guidelines and red tape that need to be followed. However, all money donated to a charity are tax-deductible, and charities have much bigger access to various grants and funding schemes.

Talking about tax advantages, I also discovered that even if Larabelles was a charity registered in the UK, the tax-deductible donations would only work for UK companies 🤦‍. USA companies can only claim tax back on money donated to registered US 501(c)(3). So it wouldn't really make any difference to our American sponsors if Larabelles was a UK charity!

Having done the research, it was clear to me that Larabelles aligns more with what CIC representS. We are a community company, we serve a specific community, and we are not all about the profit. We are not a charity either! It is a shame about the non-existent tax-advantages, but oh well!

I am currently in the middle of the registration process. It takes a while, unfortunately, but I would like to thank all the companies and individuals that got in touch with me, asking for ways to sponsor Larabelles! Thank you all for your patience!

In the meantime, while I'm waiting for the legalities to be finalised, there are things I have started, or I'm about to start very soon:

  • I have started featuring Larabelles in our monthly newsletter. I have many Larabelles ready to be featured in the upcoming newsletters, and I'm really excited about them. We have so many talented women in our community, and it is my pleasure to introduce them to you all!

  • I have also started a Larabelles mentorship programme. If you or anyone you know would like to be a mentor or a mentee, please get in touch! Even if you just need a buddy, someone to talk to every now and then, let's make it happen!

  • I am planning a live discussion panel, most likely streamed on YouTube. We will have four members of the Larabelles community discussing various topics. The first topic will be about why we think there aren't many women Laravel developers and what we think could be done about it! Stay tuned for more details.

  • Finally, I am having Larabelles website re-designed by the lovely and talented Nohemi from Tighten, and it is looking great! 💕 I cannot wait to get started with the development of the website, I guess I know exactly what I'll be doing over the Christmas break 😎.

This is all, for now. I appreciate that things have slowed down over the past few weeks, but I'd rather take my time, consider all the options, than rush through the process. Larabelles means a lot to me, and I want to do it right.

💚 If you'd like to support me while I'm setting up Larabelles, you can buy me a decaf coffee 💚

Would you like to comment or connect? I'm on Twitter!