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New legal “form” or type of Scottish charity.

From the 1st January, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has introduced a new legal “form” or type of charity.

This is unique to Scottish charities. Scotland leads the way again !.

They have named it as follows;

“Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation”.

I notice on their brief, they call these new organisations: “SCIO Organisations”, or organisations with “SCIO status”.


So whats the main advantage of an SCIO organisation ?.

The big advantage is that it provides a higher degree of protection against personal liability for charity trustees !.

Therefore, an SCIO org is a corporate body that can;

– incur debts
– own property
– enter into contracts
– sue and be sued (hopefully this won’t happen of course !)

Therefore, the trustees can breathe easy because the organisation is liable; not the trustee !.

So that provides a great level of comfort to trustees wanting to expand their charity.

OTHER advantages (which I think is also positive…)

– Unlike charities that are companies limited by guarantee, SCIOs have OSCR as a single regulator.
– The SCIO provides another option for bodies wishing to register as charities, and for existing Scottish charities wishing to adopt a different constitutional form.

One possible disadvantage

Not too many problems here I think…an SCIO must be a charitable organisation. So if OSCR deem the SCIO not to have charitable status, the SCIO will have to cease operating as such.

I don’t think this will be a problem for Scottish churches !.

Other considerations

This could effect existing contractual obligations.

Finally, I am still researching the fees involved. I will post on this blog when I get more information.