; Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO)

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation ( SCIO)

The SCIO is a new legal form that has been specially designed for the charity sector in Scotland.

What are the benefits  of  SCIO's?

The main benefits of SCIO's are that they offer protection to charity trustees from personal liability but have less complex reporting and regulatatory requirements than those set for Companies.

In practical terms, this means that a group which becomes an SCIO can take on contracts, employ staff and own property safe in the knowledge that in the event of a legal claim, the charity trustees will not be personally liable. The exception is  where they are deemed to be reckless, negligent or to have acted illegally or outwith their powers.

SCIO's are required to report only to one regulator - OSCR and are not required to register with Companies House.

An organisation can only become an SCIO if it is eligible for charitable status and can satisfy OSCR that it meets the "public benefit test".

When is the SCIO available?

From 1 April 2011, SCIO's will be available to groups that have not already incorporated under company law. 

From 2012, incorporated groups will be able to convert to SCIO's  

How to I apply to become an SCIO ?

You can find guidance on how to become an SCIO on the OSCR web-site.

You can also find further information and a SCIO training module on the SCVO web-site.  This module also contains a copy of model constiution for SCIO's which groups can use to develop their own constitution.


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