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CIOs are here!

New Chariable Incorporated Organisations can now be formed

The Charities Act 2006 (now the Charities Act 2011) created the concept of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation as a corporate body, with limited liability registered with the Charity Commission, but with no involvement with the Registrar of Companies.

The are similar entities in Scotland, known as SCIOs.

A new CIO can now be formed, and an unincorporated charity can be converted into a CIO. Very shortly, it will be possible for charity companies limited by guarantee to convert into a CIO.

A CIO prepares charity accounts on a similar basis to unincorporated charities, but there is no 25,000 exemption from filing accounts. All CIO accounts must be filed with the Charity Commission.

A CIO must place the letters 'CIO' after it name unless granted exemption.

What are the benefits?

* The protection of trustees by limited liability
* The ability to sue, and be sued, and to contract as a corporate body, which
an unincorporated charity cannot.
* No involvement with the Registrar of Companies

If CIO hits financial problems, it is subject to regulations very similar to ordinary insolvency legislation.

A CIO is formed with a constitution in a form specified by the Charity Commission.

There are two forms of CIO - one that is a membership organisation, with a large number of members, often paying a subscription - the other is the foundation model, where there is a small number of members, usually the same as the trustees.


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