Daniel Hammond , senior solicitor in Andrew Jackson's corporate department and a member of the charities unit, on the new vehicle for charities in England and Wales
The Government has, since the beginning of this month, made available a new vehicle for charities in England and Wales, which is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
CIOs are specifically designed for carrying on charitable activities, which differentiates them from other types of charities such as trusts, companies limited by guarantee, unincorporated associations or industrial and provident societies.
Such entities can face challenges when it comes to reconciling the requirements of charity law with specific laws governing each type. CIOs will help to reduce such problems and potentially halve administration and associated costs.
CIO members enjoy limited liability. Their liability to contribute towards payment of the CIO's debts if it becomes insolvent is limited to a notional fixed sum.
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CIOs are expected to appeal to smaller and medium-sized charities, as well as those which employ staff, own land and other assets or engage in potentially risky activities.
Existing and new charities should familiarise themselves with the draft general regulations and timetable, available from the Cabinet Office website. Charities should then consider whether to register as, or convert to, a CIO.