Model forms of constitution for CIOs

June 2014
We have added to our Charities documents by creating a new folder of model forms of constitution documents for a charity which wishes to establish itself as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

Many new charities continue to be constituted using the various legal forms which have existed for many years. However, some are now establishing themselves using the entirely new type of legal entity created by the Charities Act 2011 – CIOs. This is an incorporated type of legal entity similar in some ways to a company but specifically designed for charities. Apart from those new charities using CIOs, some existing charities may also decide to convert from their existing form to become CIOs.

The CIO constitutions subfolder includes word-processable versions of the two model forms of CIO constitution produced by the Charity Commission so that charities can easily edit them electronically. (Those forms are not available in word-processable form from the Commission.)

We have also included our own shorter and less complicated versions of those Charity Commission model forms. These are designed to be used by small to medium sized charities which are run in a relatively simple way. These will better suit the needs of many charities.

Each of our versions comes with changes marked to show all of the differences between our version and the Charity Commission version. This will enable charities to meet the Commission’s request that a charity should mark-up its proposed CIO constitution to show how it differs from the Commission’s form. We have also included a “clean” copy of each of our versions. Both our marked-up and clean copy versions are fully word-processable so that charities can easily edit them electronically.

Regulations made under the Act allow for considerable flexibility in terms of content of CIO constitutions. Therefore all of the models in our CIO constitutions subfolder can be amended in certain respects to meet each charity’s needs and circumstances.

Our accompanying Guidance Note - Charitable Incorporated Organisations considers various topics related to CIOs, including the background to their introduction by the Act; the nature of CIOs; the pros and cons for charities of establishing themselves either as incorporated organizations or as unincorporated organizations; the pros and cons of using either a company or a CIO; and the Act’s requirements about content of CIO constitutions.

For those charities which decide to establish themselves other than as a CIO, our Charities group of documents includes various template constitutions for other types of entity.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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