Commercial Enterprises: From Joint Ventures to Companies

Local authority trading companies (LATC or LATCOs) are bodies that are free to operate as commercial companies but remain wholly owned and controlled by the parent council(s).

LATC now deliver a broad range of services across the UK and can be beneficial in allowing councils to get direct control over providers, derive savings, become more agile, as well as generate income.

While many are well run, the ones that fail can make the headlines.

CIPFA will work with you to make the right choices, allowing LATC to thrive - adding significant value to your communities. This includes offering best practice, help to identify organisational goals - and the process to find the right option to achieve your goals - and how to structure the organisation for success.

How CIPFA can help

CIPFA offers a broad range of guidance, support, help and insight to local authorities thinking about setting up a company or to those who’ve already set them up.

Policy and guidance

In recent years, the potential risk associated with local authority trading companies and joint ventures has increased. Nothing is risk free, but it is important to learn lessons from others and access support. In this guide we give practical advice to local authorities looking to set up their own companies.

Advisory support

The Alternative Service Delivery Network (ASDN) offers critical and timely guidance, advisory support and training to public sector organisations implementing new ways of delivering services and identifying new income generation opportunities. Find out more about the ASDN Alternative Service Delivery Models network

Consultancy support

As both financial management and public sector experts, our advisory team will listen to your issues and develop the tailored financial management and governance solutions your organisation needs. Through our work, we will provide an independent assessment of your current financial and future position at both an organisational and service delivery level. Our team will also support the design and implementation of a whole system future finance operating model for your entity.


Avoid the pitfalls of local authority companies: view our Local Authority Companies webinar from February 2022. This discussion with Nottingham City Council's Clive Heaphy and CIPFA CEO Rob Whiteman, considered the lessons learnt and how making the right choices about a company's structure, governance and finances and how to allow it to thrive while adding significant value to the communities it was designed to serve.

Contact us

To find out more about how CIPFA can help your local authority company contact