Charitable incorporated organisations
Charitable incorporated organisations

The following Corporate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Charitable incorporated organisations
  • What is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)?
  • Legal framework
  • Why incorporate as a CIO?
  • Structure of a CIO
  • Forming a CIO
  • Running a CIO

What is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)?

A charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) is a form of legal entity that is only available to charities. A CIO:

  1. is an incorporated entity with its own legal personality, meaning that it can enter into contracts in its own name

  2. is a 'body corporate', but is not a company

  3. has trustees, who are protected from liability in most circumstances

  4. has members, who are either limited in their liability or have no liability

  5. has to be registered with the Charity Commission (not with Companies House), and

  6. only comes into existence once it has been registered