The following Corporate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
A charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) is a form of legal entity that is only available to charities. A CIO:
is an incorporated entity with its own legal personality, meaning that it can enter into contracts in its own name
is a 'body corporate', but is not a company
has trustees, who are protected from liability in most circumstances
has members, who are either limited in their liability or have no liability
has to be registered with the Charity Commission (not with Companies House), and
only comes into existence once it has been registered by the Charity Commission
The CIO form was created in response to requests for a more appropriate legal structure for charities that want to operate using an incorporated entity, but do not want to be subject to dual regulation via company law and charity law.
The CIO form was first introduced by the Charities Act 2006 (which has mostly been repealed by the Charities Act 2011 (CA 2011)). There was a six year delay before the Charitable Incorporated Organisations (General) Regulations 2012 (CIO Regs), SI 2012/3012 came into force on 2 January 2013 and it finally became possible to incorporate a CIO.
The legal framework for CIOs is set out in CA 2011. The CIO Regs set out
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