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Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs)

The following is an extract from the Independent Examiner newsletter of the Association of Charity Independent Examiners:

A Charitable Incorporated Organisation is a new legal entity designed specifically for charities.  The aim is to provide the benefits of incorporation – limited liability making it easier to recruit and retain trustees, and legal personality making it easier to hold property and enter contracts – without the onus of complying with company law.  Many people believe that the CIO is the ideal model for small to medium sized charities.  Existing unincorporated and incorporated charities will be able to convert to a CIO.  Priority will be given to unincorporated charities in order to give them the benefits of incorporation as early as possible.  The Charity Commission began accepting applications for registration as a CIO on 10 December 2012 and there is a timetable in which applications will be processed.

The preparation and scrutiny of CIO accounts will be the same as for unincorporated charities.  This means that CIOs with annual income:

  • more that £500,000 will need an audit
  • between £25,000 and £500,000 will be able to opt for and independent examination instead of an audit

However, unlike other charities, all CIOs will have to file their annual report and accounts with the Charity Commission.

Further information can be obtained from the Charity Commission


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