New online process for incorporating Community Interest Companies (CICs)
Are you setting up a new Community Interest Company? You can now use an online incorporation process. This new digital registration option will offer:
- significantly reduce incorporation times,
- online convenience; and
- 24-hour availability to the CIC sector
As well as including CIC and Company House registration this three-way digital service includes HMRC, enabling CICs to register for corporation tax as they incorporate their business.
According to the regulator, the new system will let applicants know that their application has been received and confirm incorporation as soon as it is completed, usually within two working days. It will also allow Companies House to process and place community interest companies on the public record far more efficiently than paper documents. The online process will provide benefits such as security, speed and environmental savings.
Digital incorporation will:
- Reduce incorporation costs for prospective CICs to £27
- Allow payment by card or PayPal; and
- Confirm incorporation – within 2 working days, in the majority of cases.
For further information on the new online process, take a look at this webinar which provides an overview of the online system https://bit.ly/2WabXoe
Getting on Board, a charity dedicated to creating community leaders through board level Volunteering, has published new practical guidance on trustee recruitment.
Trustees lead and govern charities, so recruiting people into these roles is an extremely important and high-impact activity. The new guidance aims to help charities with the process of effective and open trustee recruitment.
Currently there are an estimated 90,000 vacancies for Trusteeships and 90% of organisations report recruiting their Trustees by word of mouth and existing networks. Men outnumber women on Trustee boards 2:1, and on average, a Trustee is 57. Simultaneously only 41% of Trustee boards are representative of the communities they serve, and a meagre 14% of organisations feel well-equipped to meet compliance, strategic, and development needs.
From assessing skills gaps in an organisation’s Trustee Board, to effective advertisement, todeveloping meaningful inductions for a new Trustee, Getting on Board seeks to demystify the process and promote the practice of open recruitment for charity boards. This new guidance gives everything from checklists to flow charts to skills mapping guides for organisations looking to grow, diversify, or strengthen their Trustee board. Especially for smaller organisations who may be embracing open recruitment for the first time, the guide is a step by step to getting the best out of the process, and a new Trustee.
The Charity Commission has published new guidance for charities that are connected to non-charitable organisations
Does your charity have links to a non-charitable organisation? New guidance from the Charity Commission aims help charities to reap the benefits of such relationships while managing risks carefully.
The Commission says its casework has identified examples where charities have not managed their links to non-charitable organisations with care, in some cases allowing charities to be misused to further non-charitable interests, including commercial or private interests.
The regulator recognises that many charities work successfully in close partnership with a wide variety of non-charitable organisations, such as trading subsidiaries. These relationships can be crucial in helping a charity deliver on its mission for the public benefit.
The new guidance does not set out new rules or regulations, but draws together relevant law and practice in setting out six principles to help trustees ensure their arrangements for working with a linked body secure the charity’s interests and independence.]
- Recognise the risks
- Do not further non-charitable purposes
- Operate independently
- Avoid unauthorised personal benefit and address conflicts of interest
- Maintain your charity’s separate identity
- Protect your charity
You can read the full guidance on the Charity Commission website: Guidance for charities with a connection to a non-charity
What to expect from the Charity Commission over the next five years
Speaking at the Charity Commission’s annual public meeting in Manchester on 5 March, the Commission’s Chief Executive and Chair conveyed a message to the sector about what to expect from its regulator over the next five years.
The Commission’s Chief Executive, Helen Stephenson made it clear that the regulator’s capacity is still on a “knife edge”, after experiencing the “double whammy” of funding cuts and increasing demand for its services. The Commission currently receives on average 260 emails or phone calls from customers per day.
However, plans to address this through a consultation on whether the Commission should charge charities for regulation are on hold because the government is preoccupied with Brexit. Last year the government gave the Commission an additional £5m per year, until a consultation on charging charities could come about, which has enabled the regulator to recruit additional staff.
Despite the challenges, Stephenson outlined the key points from the Commission’s statement of strategic intent last year and said: “Work is currently underway translating all of these objectives into clear and measurable delivery plans. It’s not a heroic strategy, but it’s an ambitious one.” She added that the Commission is “implementing it in a challenging time for us”.
She said the Commission is focused on delivering on the refreshed aims set out in last year’s statement. “We want to set out our stall to the charity sector about the way in which we are going to develop in the next five years,” Stephenson said.
So, what can charities expect from the Commission?
Both Stephenson and the Commission’s chair, Baroness Stowell, said that the Commission will be “louder”, and charities can expect to hear the regulator speaking up more.
Baroness Stowell told charities to expect to see a more confident Commission. A Commission that is unafraid to use its voice and authority to encourage behaviour and conditions that help charity thrive.
The Commission also plans to improve access to data and improve content so that it’s engaging and useful for trustees.
You can read Baroness Stowell’s speech here Chair’s speech to the Charity Commission Annual Public Meeting
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