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Charitable Incorporated Organisations for church charities

To form a charity, there were initially four common legal structures employed; a Trust set out in a Trust Deed, an Unincorporated Association with a Constitution, a Company limited by guarantee with Articles of Association and an Industrial and Provident Society which has a set of Rules.

A fifth structure has now been made available, known as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). Since 2 January 2013, it has been possible for the Charity Commission to register CIOs.

This briefing paper looks at CIOs in England and Wales (CIOs in Scotland have been under separate legislation since April 2011). 

Topics covered:

  • What is a CIO?
  • The advantages of a CIO
  • The disadvantages of CIOs
  • The timetable for the registration of a CIO
  • How to register a CIO
  • Conversion of an existing non-company charity to a CIO
  • Conversion of a charitable company to a CIO
  • Conversion of an Industrial and Provident Society to a CIO
  • Registers of charity trustees and of members
  • Dissolution of a CIO
  • Transferring a CIOs undertaking to another CIO