A charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) is a legal body formed by a non-profit organisation. It has legal status and can enter into contracts in its own name. It has been designed to be a simpler and less onerous way of creating a charitable body. Trustees or members of a CIO usually have limited or no liability.
The advantage in becoming a CIO is that it is no longer necessary to register with Companies House. Previously a charity had to register as a limited company and also obtain charity status. Now administration is dealt with solely by the Charity Commission meaning that only one annual return and one set of accounts needs to be filed each year.
A CIO is not a company. It was intended to confer some of the benefits of company status but without many of the burdens. It is likely to be most beneficial to small or medium sized organisations who wish to enter into contracts and employ staff.
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