12 January 2010

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation on the horizon

The Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (‘SCIO’) was first introduced by the Charities and trustee (Investment (Scotland) Act 2005. While the English and Welsh CIO continues to struggle through the process of implementation, OSCR has now launched its consultation: ‘The Options for the Implementation of the Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO)’.

As with the CIO south of the border, the aim of the SCIO is to provide a straightforward, accessible, affordable and credible structure which gives the benefit of incorporation without the dual regulation of Companies House and OSCR currently imposed on charitable companies. The consultation which closes on 26 February 2010, provides three possible options for the proposed structure:

  1. The preferred SCIO model – as preferred by the SCIO working party;
  2. A company model which more closely reflects the company limited by guarantee structure; and
  3. The minimalist model which is as it sounds a very simple structure more akin to an unincorporated association.

The consultation paper sets out the advantages and disadvantages of each model and asks those responding to comment on the options provided. The consultation also covers the proposed application process, a conversion to a SCIO and the documentation required. Click here to review the consultation document in its entirety.

Clearly we will have to wait until the consultation period closes to see which model is selected. We can only hope that the process of establishing this new vehicle is not as lengthy in Scotland as it has proven to be in England and Wales!

For more information about the SCIO please contact Chris Priestley.

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