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Is a Community Interest Company the right path for your organisation?

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

We talk about our decision to become a CIC

The Bee's Knees decision to become a Community Interest Company

A CIC operates in the same way as any other company. It has all the well understood characteristics of a limited company such as a separate legal identity; the ability to enter into contracts and own assets in its own name; and flexibility in borrowing and fund raising. The separate legal identity means that a CIC will continue to exist despite changes in ownership or management.

It's can feel a little complicated, as a CIC you have certain rules to follow, the same as limited companies.

What is a Community Interest Company?

In summary, a Community Interest Company (CIC) is a limited company, with special additional features, created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or other activity for community benefit, and not purely for private advantage.

The CIC legal structure supports a wide range of activities, they range from very small local projects to multi-million-pound health services, covering all industry sectors and are located in every area of the UK. CICs are limited companies which operate to provide a benefit to the community they serve.

They are not strictly 'not for profit', and CICs can, and do, deliver returns to investors (we have opted not to do this at The Bee's Knees and all funds go back in to the cause making us 100% not for profit)

However, the purpose of CIC is primarily one of community benefit rather than private profit. Whilst returns to investors are permitted, these must be balanced and reasonable, to encourage investment in the social enterprise sector whilst ensuring true community benefit is always at the heart of any CIC.

For some CICs this is delivered through the provision of a service to a specific community, for example a welfare service to vulnerable people, in others it will be an activity that generates profits which are used to support a specific purpose such as a running a cafe where all profits generated are used to benefit the community. Each CIC is required to submit on a yearly basis a report detailing the activities undertaken and how these have benefitted the community.

Why is The Bee's Knees a Community Interest Company?

Our organisation supports many women on their business journey, and we recognise the importance of that. Over the last 4 years we have worked really hard in offering a welcoming, safe & supportive space for networking, learning, building relationships and making friendships.

As a not-for-profit venture, it gives us backing to apply for funding and gives us more value in the community.

If you'd like to come along to one of our meetings, please join us

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