You must send all forms to the Registrar of Companies by post.

Registrar of Companies (England & Wales)

Companies House
Crown Way
Maindy

Cardiff
CF14 3UZ

Registrar of Companies (Scotland)

Companies House
4th Floor
Edinburgh Quay 2
139 Fountainbridge

Edinburgh
EH3 9FF

Registrar of Companies (Northern Ireland)

Companies House
2nd Floor
The Linenhall
32-38 Linenhall Street

Belfast
BT2 8BG

You should complete the appropriate forms electronically and then print them, but forms that are printed then completed by hand are acceptable.

They will be scanned, so they should be printed using a laser printer on white A4 paper with a matt finish.

Please do not send photocopies.

PDF forms can be completed online, but you will not be able to save the contents and you will lose any information that you type in when you close it.

1. Form a community interest company (CIC)

1.1 Complete form IN01: application to register a company

Section A1: please ensure that the name ending is shown in the company name - for private limited companies these are ‘community interest company’, ‘CIC’ or the Welsh equivalent. If the full company name is not shown on the form, Companies House will reject it.

Section A3: please do not complete - this should be left blank.

Section A7: please tick option 3 - this is because the proposed company is adopting bespoke articles.

1.2 Complete form CIC36: application to form a CIC

CICs that work with children or vulnerable adults

The Regulator reminds community interest companies that work with children or vulnerable adults that it is their responsibility to ensure that they have appropriate measures and safeguards in place to ensure protection of these individuals. This includes ensuring DBS checks are made on all staff and volunteers that work with children.

1.3 Create the memorandum and articles of association

The constitution includes the memorandum of association and articles of association. See our constitutions guidance for information and templates (‘model constitutions’).

Please ensure that all mandatory clauses that apply to CICs are included in your articles of association. These clauses are highlighted in red in our models and can’t be removed or altered.

1.4 Send the documents and fee

Post the documents to the Registrar of Companies, with a cheque for £35 made payable to Companies House.

2. Form a community interest public limited company (community interest plc)

2.1 Complete form IN01: application to register a company

Section A1: please ensure that the company name ends with either ‘community interest public limited company’ or community interest plc’. If the full company name is not shown on the form, Companies House will reject it.

Section A3: please do not complete - this should be left blank.

Section A7: please tick option 3 - this is because the proposed company is adopting bespoke articles.

2.2 Complete form CIC36: application to form a CIC

CICs that work with children or vulnerable adults

The Regulator reminds community interest companies that work with children or vulnerable adults that it is their responsibility to ensure that they have appropriate measures and safeguards in place to ensure protection of these individuals. This includes ensuring DBS checks are made on all staff and volunteers that work with children.

2.3 Create the memorandum and articles of association

The constitution includes the memorandum of association and articles of association. See our constitutions guidance for information and templates (‘model constitutions’).

Please ensure that all mandatory clauses that apply to CICs are included in your articles of association. These clauses are highlighted in red in our models and can’t be removed or altered.

2.4 Complete form SH50: application for trading certificate for a public company

A community interest plc may not commence business or exercise any of its borrowing powers unless the Registrar of Companies has issued a certificate under sections 761 and 762 of the Companies Act 1985 (commonly know as a trading certificate).

2.5 Send the documents and fee

Post the documents to the Registrar of Companies, with a cheque for £35 made payable to Companies House.

3. Convert an existing company to a CIC

3.1 Complete form CIC37: application to convert a company to a CIC

CICs that work with children or vulnerable adults

The Regulator reminds community interest companies that work with children or vulnerable adults that it is their responsibility to ensure that they have appropriate measures and safeguards in place to ensure protection of these individuals. This includes ensuring DBS checks are made on all staff and volunteers that work with children.

3.2 Complete the model special resolution to convert a company to a CIC:

  • stating that the company should become a community interest company;

  • to make such alterations of the articles of association as it considers necessary to comply with the requirements imposed by and by virtue of section 32 or otherwise appropriate in connection with becoming a community interest company; and

  • to change the company’s name to include one of the following designates ‘community interest company’, ‘c.i.c.’ or the Welsh equivalent. There is no need to invent a new name unless you want to; a simple change from “Ltd” to “c.i.c.” will be enough.

3.3 Amend your existing articles of association

Please ensure that all of the mandatory clauses that apply to CICs are included. These clauses are highlighted in red in our models and can’t be removed or altered.

See our constitutions guidance for information and templates (‘model constitutions’).

3.4 Complete form NM01: notice of change of name by resolution

3.5 Send the documents and fee

Post the documents to the Registrar of Companies, with a cheque for £25 made payable to Companies House.

4. Convert a charitable company to a CIC

A CIC must be a limited company, so an unincorporated charity (including charitable trusts) can’t convert to a CIC.

On the conversion of a charitable company to a CIC, the existing corporate property of the company, other than its corporate capital, becomes impressed with a trust for charitable purposes in the same way as when a charitable company ceases, by some other form of constitutional change, to be a charity. The company will, in relation to its corporate property acquired whilst it was a charity, become a trustee for the charitable purposes contemplated by the objects of the company immediately before conversion.

It should be noted that the CIC could be appointed a charity trustee of the trust assets, the charity tax exemptions would not then be lost. The CIC, despite its own non-charitable status, would be legally bound to execute the charitable trust in the same way as would any other charity trustee. However, a charity could not transfer its assets so that they became part of the corporate property of a CIC. That would be a non-charitable application, as the property would became capable of diversion to non-charitable objects (through an alteration of the CIC’s objects) and the charity regulatory framework would be disapplied. This would involve a breach of trust, and could also have adverse tax consequences. However charities can make payments to non charitable organisations provided that the money is used for a charitable purpose, and the trustees remain responsible for ensuring that it is used for those purposes.

If the unincorporated charity, or trust’s assets, were depleted to a point where there were no assets remaining it could be wound-up. The option to wind-up would not apply to an unincorporated charity, or trust, that held a permanent endowment ie an asset, including land investments, which must, under a legal document, be held permanently by the unincorporated charity.

4.1 Complete form CIC37: application to convert a company to a CIC

CICs that work with children or vulnerable adults

The Regulator reminds community interest companies that work with children or vulnerable adults that it is their responsibility to ensure that they have appropriate measures and safeguards in place to ensure protection of these individuals. This includes ensuring DBS checks are made on all staff and volunteers that work with children.

Obtain written consent to become a CIC from the Charity Commission, for charitable companies in England and Wales, or the Scottish Charity Regulator.

4.3 Complete the model special resolution to convert from a charitable company to a CIC:

  • stating the company should be a community interest company;

  • to alter the company’s articles to state that the company is to be a community interest company;

  • to make such alterations of the articles of association as it considers necessary to comply with the requirements imposed by and by virtue of section 32 or otherwise appropriate in connection with becoming a community interest company; and

  • to change the name of the company to one of the CIC designations ‘community interest company’, ‘c.i.c.’ or the Wesh equivalent. There is no need to invent a new name unless you want to; a simple change from “Ltd” to “c.i.c.” will be enough.

4.4 Amend your existing articles of association

This includes changing the company’s name to end with ‘community interest company’, ‘CIC’, ‘community interest public limited company’, ‘community interest plc’ or the Welsh equivalent.

Please ensure that all of the mandatory clauses that apply to CICs are included. These clauses are highlighted in red in our models and can’t be removed or altered.

See our constitutions guidance for information and templates (‘model constitutions’).

4.5 Complete form NM01: notice of change of name by resolution.

4.6 Send the documents and fee

Post the documents to the Registrar of Companies, with a cheque for £25 made payable to Companies House.

5. Convert an industrial and provident society to a CIC

If you have charitable status, please contact the Charity Commission (England and Wales) or the Scottish Charity Regulator to discuss the proposed conversion.

IPSs in Northern Ireland need to contact the Commissioners of HM Revenue and Customs (for Northern Ireland exempt charities) to discuss the implications of the proposed conversion.

5.1 Apply to register the special resolution

You need to submit an application for registration of a special resolution for the conversion of an IPS into a company form to the Financial Conduct Authority.

IPSs in Northern Ireland needs to send the Registry of Credit Unions and Industrial and Provident Societies a copy of the special resolution to convert from an IPS to a company.

5.2 Complete form IN01: application to register a company

Section A1: please ensure that the company name ends with either ‘community interest company’ or ‘CIC’. If the full company name is not shown on the form, Companies House will reject it.

Section A3: please do not complete - this should be left blank.

Section A7: please tick option 3 - this is because the proposed company is adopting bespoke articles.

5.3 Complete form CIC36: application to form a CIC

CICs that work with children or vulnerable adults

The Regulator reminds community interest companies that work with children or vulnerable adults that it is their responsibility to ensure that they have appropriate measures and safeguards in place to ensure protection of these individuals. This includes ensuring DBS checks are made on all staff and volunteers that work with children.

5.4 Create the memorandum and articles of association

The constitution includes the memorandum of association and articles of association. See our constitutions guidance for information and templates (‘model constitutions’).

Please ensure that all mandatory clauses that apply to CICs are included in your articles of association. These clauses are highlighted in red in our models and can’t be removed or altered.

5.5 Send the documents and fee

Post the documents to the Registrar of Companies, with a cheque for £35 made payable to Companies House.

What happens next

The Registrar of Companies will pass copies of these documents to the Regulator of CICs to consider whether the company is eligible to form as a CIC.

If it is eligible and the documents are acceptable to the Registrar of Companies the documents will be registered on the public record and the registrar will issue a certificate of incorporation.

6. Convert a private company to a community interest plc

6.1 Complete form CIC37: application to convert a company to a CIC

CICs that work with children or vulnerable adults

The Regulator reminds community interest companies that work with children or vulnerable adults that it is their responsibility to ensure that they have appropriate measures and safeguards in place to ensure protection of these individuals. This includes ensuring DBS checks are made on all staff and volunteers that work with children.

6.2 Submit a special resolution :

  • stating that the company should re-register as a public company;

  • to alter the company’s articles to state that the company is to be a community interest company;

  • to make such alterations of the articles of association as it considers necessary to comply with the requirements imposed by and by virtue of section 32 of the Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004 or otherwise appropriate in connection with becoming a community interest company ;

  • to change the company’s name to include one of the following community interest public limited company / community interest p.l.c.

  • to make any other alterations to the articles so that it conforms to that required for a public limited company.

6.3 Complete form RR01: application to change the status from private to public

If there is no secretary appointed, please provide a statement of the company’s proposed secretary in part 2.

6.4 Complete form NM01: notice of change of name by resolution

6.5 Amend your articles of association

You must amend your existing articles of association in accordance with the resolution above. See our constitutions guidance for information and templates.

Please ensure that all mandatory clauses that apply to CICs are included in your articles of association. These clauses are highlighted in red in our models and can’t be removed or altered.

6.6 Send the documents and fee

Post the documents to the Registrar of Companies, with a cheque for £35 made payable to Companies House and:

  • a copy of a balance sheet prepared not more than 7 months before the application date
  • an unqualified report by the company’s auditors on the balance sheet
  • a written statement by the auditors regarding the net assets of the company at the balance sheet date in relation to the company’s called-up share capital and its undistributable reserves in relation to section 92(1) (c) of the Companies Act 2006
  • a valuation report, if applicable, on any shares issued as fully or partly paid up except in cash after the balance sheet date in accordance with section 93(2)(a) of the Companies Act 2006

7. Convert a public limited company (plc) to a community interest plc

7.1 Complete form CIC37: application to convert a company to a community interest plc

CICs that work with children or vulnerable adults

The Regulator reminds community interest companies that work with children or vulnerable adults that it is their responsibility to ensure that they have appropriate measures and safeguards in place to ensure protection of these individuals. This includes ensuring DBS checks are made on all staff and volunteers that work with children.

7.2 Complete the model special resolution to convert from a plc to a community interest plc:

  • stating that the company should re-register as a public company
  • to alter the company’s articles to state that the company is to be a community interest company;
  • to make such alterations of the articles of association as it considers necessary to comply with the requirements imposed by and by virtue of section 32 of the Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004 or otherwise appropriate in connection with becoming a community interest company ;
  • to change the company’s name to include one of the following community interest public limited company or community interest p.l.c.
  • to make any other alterations to the articles so that it conforms to that required for a public limited company.

7.3 Amend your articles of association

You must amend your existing articles of association in accordance with the resolution above. See our constitutions guidance for information and templates.

Please ensure that all mandatory clauses that apply to CICs are included in your articles of association. These clauses are highlighted in red in our models and can’t be removed or altered.

7.4 Complete form NM01: notice of change of name by resolution

7.5 Send the documents and fee

Post the documents to the Registrar of Companies, with a cheque for £25 made payable to Companies House.

8. Change or specify an asset-locked body in the articles of association

8.1 Complete the special resolution changing the clause

In part B you must state the name of the specified asset-locked body you are nominating or changing.

8.2 Amend your articles of association

You must amend your existing articles of association in accordance with the resolution above. See our constitutions guidance for information and templates.

Please ensure that all mandatory clauses that apply to CICs are included in your articles of association. These clauses are highlighted in red in our models and can’t be removed or altered.

8.3 Check the suitability of the asset-locked body

Before submitting this type of resolution you might need to check the suitability of the asset-locked body with the regulator.

An asset-locked body is a registered CIC, charity, permitted IPS or an equivalent body established outside the UK (in which case, evidence of charity status must be provided). There is no restriction on the number of asset-locked bodies that you can specify, but a CIC can’t nominate itself. If a CIC nominates an organisation that is not an asset-locked body, and it is placed on the public record, it must remedy the situation and meet the associated cost.

Read more about the asset-locked body.

8.4 Send the documents and fee

Post the documents to the Registrar of Companies (there is no fee).

9. Insert, delete or alter a clause in the articles of association

9.1 Complete the special resolution

In part B you must state how the clauses in the articles of association shall be amended.

9.2 Amend your articles of association

You must amend your existing articles of association in accordance with the resolution above. See our constitutions guidance for information and templates.

Please ensure that all mandatory clauses that apply to CICs are included in your articles of association. These clauses are highlighted in red in our models and can’t be removed or altered.

If a CIC removes one of these mandatory clauses that apply to CICs with a resolution that is placed on public record, it must send amended documents (see above) to the Registrar of Companies immediately to correct this error and also meet the associated costs. See chapter 5 of the guidance.

9.3 Send the documents and fee

Post the documents to the Registrar of Companies. Certain types of resolution may require a fee - please refer to the Companies House pricelist.

10. Alter the object statement of a CIC

10.1 Complete form CC04 to notify the change of your company’s objects

10.2 Complete the special resolution changing the object statement

In part B you must state how the clauses in the articles of association shall be amended.

10.3 Amend your articles of association

You must amend your existing articles of association in accordance with the resolution above. See our constitutions guidance for information and templates.

Please ensure that all mandatory clauses that apply to CICs are included in your articles of association. These clauses are highlighted in red in our models and can’t be removed or altered.

10.4 Complete form CIC14: altering the objects of a community interest company

The form CIC14 contains the community interest statement and a statement of the steps taken to bring the proposed alteration to the notice of people affected by your company’s activities. It must be signed by each of the company directors.

10.5 Send the documents and fee

Post the documents to the Registrar of Companies (there is no fee).

What happens next

The registrar will refer the documents to the regulator and will only register them if the regulator gives her approval. The change does not take effect until the documents are registered.

11. Change the status of a CIC to a community interest plc

11.1 Submit a special resolution:

  • stating that the company should re-register as a public company

  • to change the company’s name to include one of the following designates community interest public limited company or community interest p.l.c.

  • to make any other alterations to the articles so that it conforms to that required for a public limited company.

11.2 Complete form RR01, an application to change the status from private to public

If there is no secretary appointed please provide a statement of the company’s proposed secretary in part 2.

11.3 Amend your articles of association

Your must amend your existing articles of association in accordance with the resolution above. See our constitutions guidance for information and templates.

Please ensure that all mandatory clauses that apply to CICs are included in your articles of association. These clauses are highlighted in red in our models and can’t be removed or altered.

11.4 Complete form NM01 - notice of change of name by resolution

11.5 Send the documents and fee

Post the documents to the Registrar of Companies, with a cheque for £20 made payable to Companies House and:

  • a copy of a balance sheet prepared not more than 7 months before the application date
  • an unqualified report by the company’s auditors on the balance sheet
  • a written statement by the auditors regarding the net assets of the company at the balance sheet date in relation to the company’s called-up share capital and its undistributable reserves in relation to section 92(1) (c) of the Companies Act 2006
  • a valuation report, if applicable, on any shares issued as fully or partly paid up except in cash after the balance sheet date in accordance with section 93(2)(a) of the Companies Act 2006

12. Convert a CIC to a charitable company

CICs wishing to convert to a charity need to be aware that company law does not allow a company limited by guarantee to convert to a company limited by shares or vice versa.

A CIC limited by shares can’t convert to a charitable company limited by guarantee.

12.1 Complete the model special resolution to convert from a CIC to a charitable company:

  • stating that it is to cease to be a community interest company; and to alter the articles of association;
  • as considered appropriate to a company with exclusively charitable purposes;
  • to remove the statement that the company is a community interest company; and
  • to change the name to one that does not have a CIC designation.

12.2 Amend your articles of association

You must amend your existing articles of association in accordance with the resolution above. You can find model articles of association on the Charity Commission website.

12.3 Complete NM01 notice of change of name by resolution

12.4 Send the documents and fee

Post the documents to the Registrar of Companies, with a cheque for £10 made payable to Companies House (there is no fee for the conversion, but there is a £10 fee to change the name of the company).

You must also send one of the following:

  • a statement from the Charity Commission that, in its opinion, if the proposed changes take effect the company will be an English charity and will not be an exempt charity
  • a statement from the Scottish Charity Regulator, that if the proposed changes take effect the company will be entered into the Scottish Charity Register
  • a statement from the Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs that the company has claimed exemption under section 505(1) of the Income and corporation Taxes Act 1988 (for Northern Ireland)

13. Convert a CIC to an IPS

13.1 Submit a special resolution

You need to submit a special resolution to convert your CIC into a registered society, which has a restriction on use of assets in accordance with the provisions of either:

  • the Community Benefit Societies (Restriction on Use of Assets) Regulations 2006
  • the Community Benefit Societies (Restriction on Use of Assets) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006

If applicable, the resolution should provide for the conversion of shares representing the excess of the maximum permitted by section 6(1) of either:

  • the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965
  • the Industrial and Provident Societies Act (Northern Ireland) 1969

13.2 Send the documents and fee

Post the special resolution to the Registrar of Companies with:

  • a copy of the rules of the society
  • a statement by authorised members of the company that, in its opinion, if those rules take effect, the company will become a registered society which has a restriction on use of assets in accordance with the provisions of the Community Benefit Societies (Restriction on Use of Assets) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006

What happens next

The registrar will forward the documents to the regulator. The regulator will decide whether the company is eligible to cease being a CIC and will send notice of the regulator’s decision to the company.

13.3 Register the CIC as a society

England, Wales and Scotland

To register the CIC as a society in England, Wales and Scotland, the company must have a restriction on use of assets in accordance with the provisions of the Community Benefit Societies (Restriction on Use of Assets) Regulations 2006.

You must send the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) hard copies (by post) of:

  • the resolution
  • the rules
  • the decision of the regulator that the company is eligible to cease being a CIC

Upon registration of the society, the FCA will send the company:

  • an acknowledgement of registration
  • a certificate to show that the rules of the society referred to in the resolution have been registered

Northern Ireland

To register the CIC as a society in Northern Ireland, the company must have a restriction on use of assets in accordance with the provisions of the Community Benefit Societies (Restriction on Use of Assets) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006.

You must send the Registrar of Industrial and Provident Societies hard copies (by post) of:

  • the resolution
  • the rules
  • the decision of the regulator that the company is eligible to cease being a CIC

The Registrar of Industrial and Provident Societies will send the company:

  • an acknowledgement of registration
  • a certificate to show that the rules of the society referred to in the resolution have been registered

13.4 Send additional documents to registrar

You must send the Registrar of Companies copies of:

  • the resolution
  • the notice of the decision issued by the regulator
  • the certificate issued by the Registrar of Industrial and Provident Societies

The conversion will take effect when the Registrar of Companies registers the resolution and certificate.

14. Voluntary dissolution of a CIC

Under section 53 of the Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004 a CIC is only allowed to cease being a CIC by dissolution, or by converting to a charity. This means that once a company has become a CIC it can’t convert to an ordinary limited company.

There are a number of different routes to dissolution, each with its own rules and procedures.

Dissolution is fully explained in the Companies House booklet ‘Strike-off, Dissolution and Restoration’.

14.1 Apply to voluntarily dissolve a CIC

Complete and send Form DS01 to the Registrar of Companies, with a cheque for £10 made payable to Companies House.

When the form is accepted, a notice will be placed in the London Gazette - and the Edinburgh and Belfast editions - giving at least 3 months notice of the intent to remove the company.

Companies House will notify the regulator’s office, which will write to the CIC, enclosing a ‘reply return’ (consent to transfer assets for less than considersation) and form CIC53. The information supplied will be used to help the Regulator decide whether or not to object to the striking off of the CIC.

Please note:

  • a ‘transfer’ includes every description of disposition, payment, release or distribution, and the creation or extinction of an estate or interest in, or right over, any property
  • if the CIC intends to transfer assets other than for full consideration to a non-specified asset locked body then the regulator’s consent is required

15. File an annual CIC report and accounts with a £15 fee

15.1 Complete either the simplified or detailed version of form CIC34: CIC report, made up to your accounting reference date.

About the templates

There are two types of community interest reports - detailed and simplified. The majority of our CICs complete the simplified report. The detailed reports is reserved for those CICs that have more complex financial arrangements for which professional advice in relation to the financial information sections may be required. Please contact our 24hr voicemail 029 20346228 if you require more information. We will return all calls within 24hours. To assist you when completing your report please see below visual examples of completed reports.

Quality of the Report

Please remember that this report will be placed on the public register and made available for the public to download. This offers a level of openness and transparency not offered by ordinary companies and we recommend CICs take advantage of this. The opportunity should be taken to showcase the CICs activities and champion the benefits delivered to their community over the last year. It does not have to be especially detailed but you should look to identify key highlights. We are also interested to hear about any funding the CIC has received.

Dormant CICs

CICs, unlike ordinary companies, are not expected to stay dormant for an extended period (5 years). If they do:

  • they will fail the community interest test
  • CIC Regulator will contact them

15.2 Complete the annual accounts

The accounting requirements for CICs are no different from other companies. If you have questions about your accounts, please contact the Registrar of Companies at Companies House.

15.3 Send the documents and fee

Post the form to the Registrar of Companies, with:

  • accounts made up to your accounting reference date
  • a cheque for £15 made payable to Companies House

Please note that these documents can’t be submitted online. They must be delivered as a package and filed on time or the CIC may be liable for a late-filing penalty fee.

16. Contact CIC Regulator

General enquiries

CIC Regulator
Room 3.68
Companies House
Crown Way

Cardiff
CF14 3UZ

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