The Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) is a relatively new legal entity, providing an effective and practical incorporated vehicle for non-profit organisations in the United Kingdom.
The main benefits include:
CIOs offer limited liability protection to trustees and members by the seperate legal status
Reduced administrative burden, as the CIO registers just once with the Charity Commission as an incorporated form of charity, which is not a company
CIOs do not need to register with and report into Companies House, and they are not subject to company law
CIOs can enter into contracts and hold property in their own right, which may help with succession planning.
Many charities, such as sports clubs, PTAs and after school clubs, that are currently unincorporated may now be interested in converting to a CIO, to take advantage of the benefits of incorporation.
Some existing incorporated charities may also wish to become CIOs to make their regulation simpler and reduce costs.
Unfortunately, existing charitable companies cannot currently convert into CIOs, but this may well change in future.