In the past changing to a different charitable structure usually involved setting up a new charity, transferring the original charity’s assets and liabilities to it then closing the original charity.

Under the new rules however, following the change to a CIO, the charity continues to exist but in a different form, keeping the charity’s existing name and charity number. Charities should also be able to keep their existing bank accounts and in most cases, the Charity Commission states that the new CIO should receive any legacies left to the original charitable company. Its registration with Companies House is also cancelled and it is no longer governed by company law, with no requirement therefore to submit accounts to Companies House.

The new process currently applies to charitable companies with a yearly income of under £12,500, and will become available to larger charities in stages according to the timetable on the .gov site.

Full guidance on the rule changes is available online, and Bates Wells Braithwaite has announced that it is to hold a free seminar on CIO conversion on 17 April. Book here