CIOs: we’re finally there!

It’s finally arrived.

Many thought this day may never come.

Many found the waiting hard.

But the present is on its way, and the Big Day is almost upon us…

No, not Christmas, but the day the Charity Commission finally accepts applications for CIO registration.

For those of you who don’t know, the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) is a new legal form for a charity which has been expected for a number of years now.

CIOs holds the advantage over current legal forms for charities in England and Wales, by being incorporated (unlike unincorporated associations and charitable trusts) but being regulated only once (by the Charity Commission alone, unlike charitable companies which have to register with the company regulator, Companies House).

This means that CIOs provide added protection for charity trustees, by allowing the CIO itself as a legal person to enter contracts, sign leases, employ staff etc, instead of the charity trustees themselves.

And it also means that CIOs involve less admin and cost, because CIOs don’t have to additionally register with Companies House, and file annual accounts, returns, change of detail forms etc, unlike current charitable companies.

The Charity Commission will start accepting applications to register completely new organisations that wish to be CIOs from today, 10 December 2012. As I warned previously, current charities will have to wait a little longer.

Please note that although the Charity Commission will accept applications from 10 December, they cannot register CIOs until 2 January 2013.

For more information, visit the Charity Commission website, or email me: andrewkmackay[at]gmail.com or @BetterCharity.

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