The Charity Commission will begin to consider online applications for registration as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) from next Monday, 10th December 2012.
The CIO is a new legal form designed specifically for charities, which will be corporate bodies, able to enter into contracts in their own right, with reduced risk of liability for trustees. CIOs will only need to register with the Charity Commission, not with Companies House as well.
The proposed timetable (which may change) is:
- From 10 December 2012 - new charities with anticipated incomes of over £5,000 will be able to apply for registration
- From late March 2013 - existing unincorporated charities with incomes of over £250,000 may apply to set up a CIO and transfer assets into it
- From May 2013 - existing unincorporated charities with incomes between £100,000 and £250,000 may apply
- From July 2013 - existing unincorporated charities with incomes between £25,000 and £100,000 may apply
- From October 2013 - existing unincorporated charities with incomes between £5,000 and £25,000 may apply
- From January 2014 - existing unincorporated charities with incomes less than £5,000 and brand new charities with anticipated annual incomes of less than £5,000 may apply
The Commission recommends that anyone considering registering a CIO should check the Commission website for guidance notes and updates, and reminds those considering setting up a new charity that the CIO structure will not be suitable for all.