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Who’s afraid of CICs

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Companies House

Well it may surprise you but quite a few people are. As Business Liaison Manager at Companies House, part of my role is giving presentations to accountants and businesses. Whilst at speaking events a number of people in the accountancy profession have said things like:

I have turned away people who have asked me to incorporate a community interest company (CIC)” and others have turned away those who have asked them to file accounts for a CIC.

This seems to be because there is a lack of awareness of what a CIC is, and how easy it is incorporate one. People also don’t always realise that it is just like any private limited company, but with additional features; so the filing obligations are almost identical.

A CIC isn’t scary

Starting with the basics, a CIC is a type of company for people who want to be involved in a business that benefits the community. This means a CIC is not for personal gain, so directors and employers will not make millions of pounds from the CIC. Instead the money goes to the community.

A CIC is easy to register! It is much the same as setting up any private limited company but with a specific constitution and clear objectives. But most importantly a CIC has as an asset lock which means that it cannot be asset stripped for private gain.

A CIC also needs to show the Regulator that it benefits the community and does not exist for political aims. CICs work in every sector, including:

  • business services
  • childcare
  • education
  • energy
  • environment
  • health and social care
  • housing
  • media
  • media
  • sports
  • the arts
Image of Fungi Futures CIC
Fungi Futures CIC at work

Filing accounts for a CIC

Like all other limited companies a CIC has obligations. CIC accounts are prepared the same way as any other limited company. The only difference is a CIC must send their accounts each year with a community interest report (form CIC34) and a £15 fee. This form clearly states what the CIC has done throughout the year and how the community has benefitted from its activities. A CIC must also keep the community in touch with its activities throughout the year.

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I hope this has cleared up any confusion surrounding CICs. Filing accounts for CICs shouldn’t be daunting. So, if you wish to know more please get in touch below.

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