The Charity Commission
Have you considered becoming a registered charity. This could have advantages as far as funding is concerned, as being registered opens up avenues that you couldn't approach without charity status. The immediate opportunity that springs to mind is being able to to make Gift Aid claims
1st April 2008
The rules changed from this date and organisations wishing to become a registered charity must now have regard to the Commission's Public Benefit guidance, and to demonstrate their organisation's aims are for the public benefit as part of the application process. As the documentation on this, and becoming a charity in general, is so vast we have decided to list just some of their documents, that we believe are essential reading before completing the application forms. These are available from the 'Documentation Link' top left on every page of this website
Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)
This is a relatively new piece of legislation that may be of interest though to any voluntary groups accessing the information on these pages, who may have considered registering as a 'Charitable Company', as becoming a CIO instead negates the requirement to register with Companies House, as a "Company Limited by Guarantee", if that was a route you were considering.
Here is a list of the advantages of becoming a CIO
over the present scheme of becoming a 'Company Limited by Guarantee', and also registering separately as a charity.
a. A single registration - a charitable company has to register with the Registrar of Companies at Companies House and the Charity Commission. A CIO only needs to register with the Commission
b. Less onerous requirements for preparing accounts - the general regime in the Charities Act 1993 apply, so small CIOs will be able to prepare receipts and payments accounts, whilst larger charities will prepare accruals accounts
c. Less onerous reporting requirements - CIOs only need to prepare an annual report under the Charities Act 1993. Under company law, companies have to prepare a directors' report as well
d. One annual return - charitable companies have to prepare an annual return under company law and, normally, a separate return under charity law
e. Less onerous filing requirements - CIOs only have to send accounts, reports and returns to the Commission. Charitable companies have to send these to us and the Registrar of Companies
f. Less onerous requirements relating to reporting of constitutional and governance changes - CIOs are subject to a less extensive range of reporting requirements than charitable companies and will only have to report to the Charities Commission.
g. Lower costs for charities - the Commission make no charges for registration and filing of information
h. Simpler constitutional form - the Commission has produced model forms of constitution which include fewer fixed governance provisions than is the case with companies
j. More straightforward arrangements for merger and reconstruction - the Charities Act 2006 contains a number of provisions designed to facilitate merger and reconstruction which are not available to charitable companies
k. An enforcement regime which does not penalise the charity for the conduct of its directors
l. Codified duties for directors and members which reflect the charitable nature of the CIO
m. EC company law directives do not apply to CIOs