The Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIOs)

The Scottish charitable incorporated organisation (SCIO) is a new legal form which allows Scottish charities to incorporate without becoming companies. The SCIO will help charities enjoy the benefits of incorporation, including limited liability and legal personality, without being subject to the complex apparatus of company law and dual regulation currently faced by charitable companies. SCIOs will be registered with and regulated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

Chapter 7 of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 provides the basic framework for a SCIOs regime but the detailed operational requirements will be set out in Regulations. The Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 (Commencement No. 5) Order 2011 was made on 18 January 2011. This Order brought into force all the provisions relating to SCIOs under Chapter 7 of the 2005 Act.

The policy underpinning the regime was the subject of public consultation in late 2009/early 2010, and draft SCIO Regulations were opened up for public discussion in October/November 2010. This was intended to allow Scottish charities and their advisors to input to the legislative development process.

New Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIOs) Regulations

The Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations Regulations 2011 were laid before the Scottish Parliament on 28 January 2011.

The Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (Removal from Register and Dissolution) Regulations 2011 which are subject to affirmative resolution, were laid in draft before the Scottish Parliament on 28 January 2011.

The SCIO was introduced for new and unincorporated Scottish charities on 1 April 2011. Provisions allowing charitable companies and industrial and provident societies to convert to become SCIOs will come into force on 1 January 2012.