Mensa International is the global entity of Mensa, descended from the original club that was founded in England in 1946. A constitutional reform in 1981 resulted in the structure now in use, with some modifications following a constitution rewrite approved in 2005. Further minor modifications were made following a referendum in 2009.
In a technically legalistic sense, there are two distinct entities: Mensa International Ltd., a company incorporated in England, governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association, and having the members of the International Board of Directors (IBD) as its sole members, and the Executive Committee as its board of directors; and an unincorporated association named Mensa which is governed by the Constitution of Mensa and has as its members the various national Mensa associations and Direct international members who live in countries without a national Mensa. The corporate entity Mensa International Ltd. (MIL) holds the assets of Mensa International, but the IBD elections are conducted by the unincorporated association. Proposals to change this confusing structure are sometimes made, but none has gone forward to this date.
A major function of Mensa International is to approve the official status of national Mensa organizations in different countries. These organizations go through a series of stages from "Emerging Mensa" to "Provisional National Mensa" before being fully accredited as a "National Mensa". National Mensas have nearly complete autonomy within their countries, and can set the level of dues as they wish, with a percentage sent to Mensa International. There has sometimes been conflict between national Mensas regarding licensing deals, such as for books or other merchandise, when the licensees proceed to sell merchandise using the Mensa name and logo in different countries. American and British Mensa have had such conflicts, which have resulted in litigation. As a result, Mensa International is playing a greater role now in negotiating such licensing and defining its terms.
American Mensa, Mensa Argentina, Mensa Australia, Mensa Austria, Mensa Brazil, Mensa Belgium, British Mensa (UK, Ireland, Channel Islands), Mensa Bulgaria, Mensa Canada, Mensa Colombia, Mensa Croatia, Mensa Czech Republic, Mensa Denmark, Mensa Finland, Mensa France, Mensa Germany, Mensa Greece, Mensa Hong Kong, Mensa Hungary, Mensa Iceland, Mensa India, Mensa Israel, Mensa Italy, Mensa Japan, Mensa Korea, Mensa Luxembourg, Mensa Macedonia, Mensa Malaysia, Mensa Netherlands, Mensa New Zealand, Mensa Norway, Mensa Pakistan, Mensa Philippines, Mensa Poland, Mensa Romania, Mensa Serbia & Montenegro, Mensa Singapore, Mensa Slovakia, Mensa Slovenia, Mensa South Africa, Mensa Spain, Mensa Sweden, Mensa Switzerland.