Community interest companies (CICs) explained

Partner Mark Williams

In 2005, the government introduced the community interest company (CIC), a new type of corporate structure for social enterprises that want to carry out an activity that will directly or indirectly benefit the community. A CIC can be used for any activity – except political activity – provided it benefits the community. Its activities are less regulated than those of charities.

A CIC can be a private company (limited by guarantee or by shares) or a public company. Although setting up a CIC is relatively quick and easy, care must be taken to ensure you choose the right type of corporation, so that your objectives are not restricted. It is therefore best to take legal advice before incorporating your CIC.

To give you a better understanding of CICs, we’ve compiled a Briefing Note that explores the key points and legal obligations. It covers such topics as the community interest test, articles of association, the asset lock and the dividend cap, plus annual reporting obligations.

Read our Community Interest Companies (CICs) Briefing Note for an overview of the subject, but please bear in mind that it does not constitute legal advice.

Expert legal advice on community interest companies (CICs)

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