A Community Interest Company (‘CIC’) is a limited liability company with special additional features designed for the use of those who wish to conduct a business or other activity for the benefit of a community and not purely for the benefit of their members. This is achieved by a ‘community interest test’ and an ‘asset lock’ which, together, ensure that the company is established for community purposes and that the profits of the company are dedicated to those purposes. This type of company is a particularly effective structure for social enterprises, i.e. businesses which trade primarily with social and/or environmental objectives and whose surpluses are reinvested in the business or in the community.

CICs are available in the same format as ordinary companies and can be tailored to meet particular needs: they can be limited by guarantee; or private or public companies limited by shares; and in some cases, CICs can pay limited dividends. There are, however, some differences between the formation of an ordinary company and a CIC.

All applications for the registration of CICs must include evidence that the company will satisfy the community interest test. To this end, you are required to prepare a ‘community interest statement’ setting out the purpose for which the CIC is being set up, the range of activities it will engage in, and who will be seen as benefiting from its activities.

Furthermore, CICs are required to include in their articles of incorporation certain specified provisions about the company’s form, asset lock and governance. The articles of association, together with the community interest statement, provide the key evidence upon which the Regulator will determine whether the company is eligible to be registered as a CIC. Great care should therefore be taken in the preparation of these documents.

We are here to help you to tailor your CIC to fulfil your aspirations and to ensure that your documentation complies with all the legal requirements.

Before we can proceed with the incorporation itself, we will:

  • send you our CIC incorporation questionnaire to capture the data we require for the formation of the company
  • set up a telephone conference with you to discuss the nature of the proposed CIC for the purpose of preparing your community interest statement

For the incorporation itself we will:

  • check if the name you have chosen for your CIC is available and in line with company names rules
  • upon the basis of the telephone conference, prepare the community interest statement based on the telephone conference
  • prepare the bespoke articles of association
  • complete the company registration forms
  • submit the documents to Companies House for processing with the required fee
  • forward the incorporation documents to you once the CIC is successfully incorporated
  • legal support during the registration process

– all for £450 plus VAT plus £35 Companies House filing fees*

Once incorporated, we offer ongoing company secretarial and other support services. Our basic compliance package that will ensure your CIC meets its statutory obligations includes:

  • registered office address in central London
  • directors’ service addresses
  • maintaining the company’s statutory registers
  • preparing and filing the company’s Annual Confirmation Statement (formerly the Annual Return)
  • recording any changes in the statutory registers and filing at Companies House as required, or carrying out due diligence and ID checks on new directors (up to 5 changes/ checks per annum; additional transactions charged @ £25 plus VAT each)
  • taking custody of the minute book
  • telephone support in respect of the above during office hours

This service is by subscription and costs £399 plus VAT per annum (for companies with up to 10 directors or members. For companies with more than 10 directors or members there will be an additional set-up fee of £10 plus VAT per director or member (exceeding 10) in the first year, and in subsequent years the additional fee will be £5 plus VAT per director or member (exceeding 10) per annum).* The annual confirmation statement filing fee payable to Companies House (currently £13 for online filing) is not included.

To discuss our CIC incorporation service in more detail, please contact us.

*Prices quoted only apply to private companies. For PLCs please contact us.