How We Are Governed
Biodiversity and Environmental Education Society (BEES) is a registered charity in England and Wales - no.1187828. We are a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) whose only voting members are its charity trustees ('foundation' model constitution).
What is a CIO?
The Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) is a new legal form for a charity. It has been created in response to requests from the charitable sector. It is a new incorporated form of charity which is not a limited company or subject to company regulation. The Charities Act 2011 creates the basic legal framework for the CIO. This framework is completed by regulations:
the Charitable Incorporated Organisations (General) Regulations 2012 (‘General Regulations’); and
the Charitable Incorporated Organisations (Insolvency and Dissolution) Regulations 2012 (‘Dissolution Regulations’)
A CIO is a corporate body (like a company) that can own property, employ staff and enter into other contracts in its own name (rather than in the names of the trustees).
Members of a company limited by guarantee have limited liability for its debts if it winds up(they only have to pay a fixed amount). Members of a CIO may either have no liability at all or (like a company) limited liability for its debts.
Because they have additional legal protection, members of a corporate body (Company or CIO) must comply with extra regulations.
Unlike companies, CIOs do not have to register with Companies House.
Unlike companies, CIOs will not be fined for administrative errors like late filing of accounts, but some breaches of the CIO Regulations are legal offences.
All CIOs must register with the Commission, regardless of their income. It follows that an exempt charity cannot be a CIO, and CIO may be unsuitable for other types of charity that don’t have to register.
CIOs must produce accounts under charity law, not company law. This allows smaller CIOs (income below £250,000) to produce simpler receipts and payments accounts.
To simplify the CIO framework, there is currently no provision for CIOs to issue debentures, or for a register of charges (mortgages etc) over CIO property.
In practice a CIO using the ‘foundation’ model will be like an incorporated charitable trust, run by a small group of people (the charity trustees) who make all key decisions.
Read our Governing Document
Click on the BEES logo below to read more about how we are governed: