Legal structures: converting to a different structure

2. How do I change my organisation's structure?

Changing to a different charitable structure usually involves setting up a new charity, transferring your original charity’s assets and liabilities to it then closing your original charity.

This can be complex, therefore we recommend requesting free support to discuss through the process and implications.

3. Converting from a Charitable Company to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

Since 2018, it has been possible to convert from a charitable company to a CIO. Using this process means that the charity continues to exist but in a different form. Enabling you to keep the charity’s existing name and charity number. You should also be able to keep the charity’s existing bank accounts and in most cases, the new CIO should receive any legacies left to the original charitable company.

The main advantage of CIOs over charitable companies is that CIOs do not have to register with and send accounts to Companies House as well as the Charity Commission.

4. Charitable Company to Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

Since 2018, it has been possible to convert from a charitable company to a CIO. Using this process means that the charity continues to exist but in a different form. Enabling you to keep the charity’s existing name and charity number. You should also be able to keep the charity’s existing bank accounts and in most cases, the new CIO should receive any legacies left to the original charitable company.

The main advantage of CIOs over charitable companies is that CIOs do not have to register with and send accounts to Companies House as well as the Charity Commission.

5. Community Interest Company (CIC) to a Charitable Company

It is possible to convert a Community Interest Company (CIC) to a Charitable Company. However, there is not a lot of demand for this. The new structure would only have charitable purposes and would be subject to more strict controls of the charity commission.

6. Incorporated Charity to CIC

An Incorporated Charity can convert to a CIC status, but there is not much demand for this. On registration, it would lose its tax breaks. An unincorporated charity including charitable trusts cannot convert to a CIC.

7. Private limited company to CIC

A private limited company can apply to convert to a CIC. The business must pass the community interest test, satisfying the regulator that the activities of the business will be carried on for the benefit of the community.

8. CIC to permitted registered society

A CIC can convert into a permitted registered society. A ‘permitted registered society’ is a registered society, which has restrictions on the use of its assets.