Charity Incorporated Organisation (CIO) guidance and constitutions
On 28 March 2011 the Charity Commission (CC) published the first part of its guidance for setting up a CIO and two model constitutions for forming a CIO, ahead of expected implementation. The guidance will be added to over the following months. The aim of publishing the documents ahead of implementation is so that charities, anyone thinking of setting up with charitable status and their advisors can decide if it is the right structure for them.
The concept of a CIO was introduced by the Charities Act 2006, it is an incorporated form of charity which is not a company. It only has to register with the Charity Commission and not Companies House. A CIO can enter into contracts in its own right and its trustees will normally have limited or no liability for the debts of the CIO.
The guidance includes the rules and benefits for CIOs, how to register, what CIOs will have to do which is different from unincorporated charities and running and reporting requirements.
Included in the guidance are two model constitutions, one for charities whose only voting members will be the charity trustees (foundation model) and one for charities that will have wider membership (association model).
Implementation will be phased with new organisations being able to register as CIOs first and then existing charitable companies being able to convert to CIOs towards the end of the implementation period.
The guidance and constitutions can be found at http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk
Date: 18th April, 2011
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