In 2006 a new form of charity was created in law to address the confusion of having to be both a registered charity and a company; with the associated ‘dual registration and reporting’. The new form is known as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation or ‘CIO’ and went live in March 2013.
The CIO legal form is administered by The Charity Commission for England and Wales, who also regulate the ‘limited liability’ aspect of the legal form. For many smaller and medium sized organisations, the CIO is now the favoured form to take as it will protect small charities from some of the risks associated with employing staff, managing buildings and holding contracts.
Because it remains to an extent a relatively new legal form, larger charities and existing charity companies may stick with or retain the dual ‘registered charity’ and company status, but over time it is anticipated that many will convert to CIO status.
For further information see Governance and Trustees.