Charitable incorporated organisation
The Charity Commission began registering CIOs for new charitable ventures from 3 January 2013. This new structure is an alternative to the other usual company forms for charities such as companies limited by guarantee.
What is a charitable incorporated organisation?
Charitable incorporated companies are an attempt at solving the problem of ‘double regulation’. Most charities will be registered as a company limited by guarantee or as a community interest company and will, therefore, have to be registered with Companies House and with the Charity Commission. They will, therefore, be obliged to file annual accounts at both Companies House and with the Charity Commission.
A CIO only has to register with the Charity Commission (and does not have to register with companies house) but has the same status as a limited company.
All CIOs are registered charities. The CIO has a separate legal identity so it can contract with other persons and own property.
A CIO must have one or more charity trustees and members (who can be the same people).
Why have a charitable incorporated organisation?
The advantage of this structure is that it should be more lightweight and easier to administrate. It also has the advantages of limited liability.