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Is now the time for charities to incorporate?

January 15, 2019

The Charities Act 2006 introduced a new legal structure designed exclusively for registered charities, the “Charitable Incorporated Organisation” or “CIO”. The CIO is intended to provide charities with a practical and effective incorporated vehicle.


Although initially there was caution about the new incorporated vehicle, as charity trustees have become increasingly concerned about the personal financial risks associated with running charities there has been a recent trend of charities incorporating into CIOs.


The benefits of forming a CIO are not only the reduced personal liability for the trustees, a corporate entity for entering into contracts for employment, services, supplies and works, but also the simplified regulatory regime.


If you are looking to undertake any of the following, you may wish to consider changing to a corporate charity structure:


• you want to register the title to your charity’s land or property in its own name, rather than in a trustee’s name or in the Official Custodian for Charities;

• you are concerned about the level of financial risk your charity faces and want to give the trustees more protection

• your charity will deliver charitable services under contract, for example with a local authority.


Although there are many benefits, the process by which existing charities can convert to becoming CIOs can be quite complex.


We are able to advise on what structure maybe best for your charity, and undertake the incorporation process on your behalf. Contact us on 01306 877592 or at enquiries@surreyhillssolicitors.co.uk for an initial discussion.



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Surrey Hills Solicitors LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales under registered number OC413010, and is authorised and registered by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, registered number 632314.  VAT no. 247628480.  A list of LLP members can be requested from our registered office 296 High Street, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1QT.