Monday, June 22, 2009

back to the future - CICs in the 1980s!!

In 2005 the Community Interest Company was formed as a way to encourage social enterprise through giving it (amongst other things) greater recognition in the marketplace - all such enterprises must include the words 'CIC' or 'Community Interest Company' in their trading name, and are subject to a regulatory body who checks that their governing rules show them to exist primarily to create a social benefit and all assets and profits are restricted for that use.
But this, it turns out, is nothing new, and has existed as a legal option since 1985!

In 1985, the Companies Act was amended to allow any company to submit an application to the regulator to show that they exist for primarily social purposes and all profits and assets are restricted to achieving them - in turn, the regulator can allow those companies to drop the 'limited' part of their public and trading name to show that they exist for more 'noble' purposes that more traditional private companies.
Is the CIC anything really new then if this core feature of their functionallity (how they present themselves, how the regulator agrees their status) has existed for more than 20 years already?

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