Is a CIO the right structure for our charity?
If you are thinking of setting up a charity there are a number of different structures to choose from, including the CIO. There are four main legal forms that charities may take:
- trust – the governing document is a trust deed or a will. There is no protection from liability for the trustees.
- unincorporated association – the governing document is a constitution or rules and there is usually a membership. The trustees are often referred to as the management committee. Again, there is no protection from liability for the trustees.
- company limited by guarantee – the governing document is a memorandum and articles of association for a company formed before September 2009 and articles of association for a company formed since then. The trustees (or directors) are protected in most circumstances against contractual liabilities. Charitable companies must register with Companies House and, usually, with the Charity Commission.
- charitable incorporated organisation – the governing document will be a constitution. The trustees will be protected in most circumstances against contractual liabilities. CIOs only register with the Charity Commission.
You can find more details on the other structures for charities in our guidance Choosing and preparing a governing document (CC22)
ID: 261See: Full list of charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) frequently asked questions