What is a civil society?

We explain what a civil society in law is, its characteristics and examples. Advantages and disadvantages of this type of association.

  1. What is a civil society?

In commercial law , a type of contractual association is known as  civil society  (that is, by contract) in which two or more individuals commit and commit themselves to jointly and jointly manage assets such as money or industry, in order of creating an unnatural person who is not governed entirely by the desire for profit, but who equally distributes his earnings among his investors.

This is a civil society, in this way,  when its members meet around a common purpose , whose usefulness is appreciable in money, and whose profits or losses all partners take participation.

Civil society should not be confused with mercantile society, even if the distinction is subtle, from a certain point of view: the first is not built with the pure intention of generating profits, while the second is. In fact, two civil societies can form a mercantile society , if that helps them achieve their objectives.

A civil society can be of the following types:

Particular . It includes certain things, such as a company , its fruits or the exercise of a specific trade or profession.

Universal . It can be, in turn, of two types:

  • Of all the goods present . The partners own all the common assets of civil society, as well as their profits, so it does not include assets resulting from inheritances, donations or legacy acquired later, but its fruits.
  • Of all the profits . It covers everything that the partners acquire during the term of the association, although the movable and immovable property of each partner remains private, but its usufruct will be common.
  1. Characteristics of a civil society

civil society
A civil society is born at the moment when its creation contract is signed.

Civil societies can be public or private , depending on whether or not they have a legal personality, respectively. In the same way, they must have a lawful objective as a north, which is of common interest to all partners, which in turn are divided into capitalists (who contribute the money) or industrialists (who carry out the work).

A civil society is born at the moment when its creation contract is signed , and lasts until the moment of its termination, which is always agreed (even if it is infinite). If they do not have legal personality, the agreements between their partners can be secret and, therefore, their totally individual actions against third parties.

  1. Examples of civil society

Some examples of civil societies may be:

  • Charitable institutions (such as Cáritas, the Red Cross, Favaloro Foundation, etc.).
  • Local or regional sports clubs (such as Boca Juniors, River Plate, Manchester United, etc.).
  • Private school organizations (such as schools or private institutes, etc.).
  • Workers associations (such as unions, tuition, etc.).
  1. Advantages of a civil society

civil society
A civil society does not require initial capital to be constituted.

Some virtues of a civil society are the following:

  • They do not require presentation before the commercial registers, nor initial capital to be constituted. They are attached to the civil code.
  • It is usually simple to establish bureaucratically, and simpler to administer than a corporation.
  • They aspire to the improvement of some aspect of society .
  • They are not required to make their accounts public.
  1. Disadvantages of a civil society

Some inconveniences of a civil society are the following:

  • It is usually considered less solid and permanent than a commercial company, so it does not usually enjoy its financial benefits.
  • If the profits of civil society are high, the payment in taxes (Income Tax) will be personal for each member and will be much higher than being a commercial company.
  • In case of being universal, the responsibility before the creditors can be unlimited and even include the spouses of the partners.


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