Legal Structures

The document can be included in the legal structure section

Subsidiaries

A subsidiary is an organisation that has its own legal identity but is owned by either one or more parent organisations.

The main reasons for establishing a subsidiary are:

Community Interest Company - CIC

IMPORTANT:  Before deciding to adopt the Community Interest Company structure it is vital that you obtain professional advice.

A Community Interest Company (CIC) is a legal structure that is designed for businesses that benefit the community rather than solely to make money.  A CIC can be a company limited by shares or a company limited by guarantee and have the same benefits as other companies of this type.

Every CIC must

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation - SCIO

IMPORTANT:  Before adopting this structure, it is vital that you obtain professional advice.

(extracted from OSCR’s Leaflet  ‘Working with SCIOs’ 2011)

What’s different about SCIOs?

The SCIO legal form is available only to Scottish charities. The Scottish Government introduced the SCIO form in April 2011 to allow charities the advantages of being incorporated, without the burden of reporting to two regulators.

What Does Being Unincorporated Mean?

IMPORTANT:  Before deciding on a legal status, it is vital that you obtain professional advice.

Being unincorporated means that the organisation has no separate legal identity and all the risks and liabilities that are involved in running the organisation are taken on by the individuals that run or manage the organisation.  Unincorporated organisations are normally:

What is a Legal Structure?

IMPORTANT:  Before deciding on a legal structure it is vital that you obtain professional advice.

Selecting the correct legal structure for a social enterprise is just as important as obtaining finance, preparing a business plan and finding the correct staff.  A legal structure provides the legal framework to which the organisation will adhere.  To avoid legal issues it is vital that the most appropriate legal structure is selected when establishing a new organisation.

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