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What is ABS?

The CLC licensed the first ever ABS (Alternate Business Structure) in England and Wales on 6th October 2011.

An ABS is a relatively new form of business structure where external investment in the business can be made from non-lawyers in professional management or ownership roles.

We accept applications from existing CLC regulated entities and from entities not currently regulated by us to become Alternative Business Structures. The Licensed Body application is suitable for entities owned and/or managed by non-lawyers. If all owners and managers are lawyers, the Licensed Body application is not suitable. Please contact the CLC Licensing & Casework team on 020 3859 0904 or email for more information. For details on how applications will be considered and determined please see the ABS Licensing Framework.  Entities which become ABS will need to comply with the CLC Handbook.

Please see the Guidance Notes for further information.

If you are interested in setting up an ABS, please email with your expression of interest. Our licensing team will arrange an introductory phone call and any follow up meeting which will take place before you complete any documentation.