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 !.
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.