Charity Law

Community Interest Companies

Community Interest Companies

Community Interest Companies [C.I.Cs] are a new form of organisational structure.  C.I.Cs are different from charities and intended to be appropriate for entrepreneurs or others intending to establish social enterprises.

The differences between a C.I.C. and a ch Save arity are:

  • Charities must pass a closely defined “public benefit” test [see separate briefing note on this site]. A C.I.C. need only benefit the community – a much wider and more flexible test.
  • Charities are regulated by the Charity Commission.  The regulatory regime is more onerous than for C.I.C.s – so that for example a board member of a C.I.C. may be remunerated – and charities are limited in the financial benefits that can be paid to trustees.
  • Charities enjoy tax advantages, C.I.C.s do not.

The advantages of a C.I.C. are:

  • That the status offers a structure giving the advantages of limited liability of a company.
  • That the C.I.C. is a recognised structure - familiar for example to government or other bodies making grants.
  • The C.I.C.s would be able to issue shares – to assist them in raising capital.
  • C.I.C.s will be subject to an “asset lock”.  This is an important element of C.I.C.s (distinguishing them from a conventional limited company), subject to exceptions (modest dividends) a C.I.C. may not distribute their assets amongst their members – so ensuring that the organisation is run for the benefit of the community rather than the financial gain of its members.

In order to form a C.I.C. a company must be formed and then an application made to The Regulator of C.I.C.s who must be satisfied that the formation of the C.I.C. is in the public interest.

We are able to advise as to what is likely to be the best vehicle for your intended purpose – charity or C.I.C. and we are able to undertake the formation process on your behalf.

We are able to offer specialist advice

Lucy Robinson

Chartered Legal Executive
CONTACT
Contact Us
Question
Call Back
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

Eastbourne Office

11 Hyde Gardens
Eastbourne
East Sussex 
BN21 4PP
Tel: 01323 720142
DX: 6902 Eastbourne

Lewes Office

Suite 4, Sackville House
Brooks Close
Lewes
BN7 2FZ
Tel: 01273 480234
DX: 3103 Lewes 1

Peacehaven Office

10a Horsham Avenue
Peacehaven
East Sussex
BN10 8LL

 Tel: 01273 582680