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Application Guidance: Legal documentation

The aim of the documentation process is to set out in one place the agreement that has been reached between the parties. This ensures that both Big Society Capital and you have clarity around our respective rights and responsibilities.

It is important that our capital is used in a way that is consistent with our mission and obligations as an organisation. The legal agreements will set out what our investment can be used for and the governance arrangements in place to protect the mission.

The terms that we seek will be based on the conclusions of our due diligence, so they may vary between investments.

What do applicants need to provide?

Usually, applicants take the lead in preparing the first draft of the legal documents, with the assistance of their own legal advisers.

What will Big Society Capital do?

We will agree a heads of terms following Investment Committee approval which will set out key terms and conditions precedent to our investment being drawn down.

Our internal legal team will appoint legal advisers to help us review and negotiate drafts of the documents. Where possible we seek pro bono or discounted legal advice and if appropriate we will seek to share counsel with co-investors. This stage of the process will continue to be led by the investment team member, working alongside our internal counsel.

How long will it take?

It generally takes between 1 and 3 months to agree and sign documents following agreement in principle.   This timescale will be shortened if you have already prepared draft documents and your legal advisers can be instructed quickly.  We aim to reduce these time periods further over time, hopefully assisted by greater standardisation of documentation.

Find out more about what to expect in your investment documents.

Read the Gritty Reality blog from our Internal Counsel.