A new legal form

Social enterprises needed a legal structure that protected their mission. We helped by creating the Community Interest Company.

What happened?

Before 2005, if a social enterprise wanted to legally lock in its mission and use its profits and assets for the good of the community, but didn’t want to seek charitable status, there were no legal structures to accommodate it. Spotting the need for such an option, Bates Wells developed the legal form of the community interest company. 

How did we help?

After devising the initial idea, we worked with the government to implement the CIC. We fed into legislation and advised on best practice in governance. And we produced the CIC regulator’s standard form articles. 

The CIC model goes from strength to strength, with over 10,000 CICs registered in the first ten years. 

Today, we advise the CIC Regulator via its technical committee, as well as counting many CICs amongst our clients. We were also co-authors of Governance for Community Interest Companies: A Practical Framework. It’s the definitive guide to CIC governance, created in collaboration with the CIC Regulator.