We have recently renewed the Memorandum of Understanding with The Regulator of Community Interest Companies, symbolising an ongoing commitment to co-operation & collaboration.
The agreement enables both parties to exchange information and provide feedback on relevant issues relating to CICs. The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies will work alongside Social Enterprise Mark CIC to represent the interests of Community Interest Companies (CICs).
There are now almost 13,500 CICs in the UK, engaged in every sector of the community. A CIC is a company which has been set up to deliver benefit to a stated community and it agrees to be regulated to ensure that it delivers that benefit. CICs are governed by company law and also related CIC legislation, which ensures that they deliver continued benefit to the community. The additional responsibilities include the asset lock which ensures that the assets remain with the company and cannot be asset stripped and the annual community interest company report which is placed on public record.
Although there is no single legal structure for social enterprise, the CIC model was specifically designed with social enterprises in mind. It aimed to bridge the gap between standard commercial businesses and charities, recognising that some businesses wanted to provide some benefit to the community through their commercial activities but without the regulation and restrictions which come with being a registered charity. CICs automatically meet most of the criteria covered by the Social Enterprise Mark and over ¼ of the Social Enterprise Mark CIC network of accredited social enterprises are registered as CICs.