A Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) is one of the four main types of charity structure. Once a CIO has been formed it is important to appreciate that there are many day to day administrative requirements that need to be followed and fulfilled. The Charity Commission publishes numerous guidance notes and these are especially useful as a first port of call to the lay trustee. It is however especially important to bear in mind that failure to follow some simple requirements can have very serious consequences.
The name of the CIO must appear in legible characters in every location and in every description of document or communication in which a charitable company would be required under the Companies (Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2008 to state its registered name. Relevant locations are the CIOs registered office or any inspection place and any location at which is carries on business. Documents or communications include business letters, notices, bills of exchange, cheques and all other forms of its business correspondence and documentation to be executed by the CIO. Similarly all conveyances to be executed by the CIO must state its name.
Status as a CIO
If the name of a CIO did not include “Charitable Incorporated Organisation”, “CIO” or in the case of a CIO’s constitution where this is in Welsh a Welsh equivalent then the fact that the CIO is a CIO must be stated in legible characters in all the locations, documents, communications and conveyances mentioned in section 211 of the Charities Act 2011.
Non-compliance with disclosure requirements
Failure to comply with the requirements mentioned above has the following consequences:
- Every charity trustee of the CIO who is in default and every other person who on the CIOs behalf, without reasonable excuse, signs or authorises the signing of such documents communications or conveyances or otherwise commits or authorises the offending act or omission commits a criminal offence.
- Any legal proceedings brought by the CIO to enforce a right arising out of a contract or conveyance where there was failure to comply with the above provisions may be put at risk.
Similar provisions to these also apply to other forms of charitable body.