First Scottish charity granted SCIO charitable statusBecky Slack
Glasgow-based South Seeds, which helps local residents reduce their carbon emissions, is the first organisation to be granted the status of Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO).
This is a new legal form unique to Scottish charities, and enables organisations to enter into contracts, employ staff, own property without having to become a company, and provide trustees with protection against personal liability.
The new legal form is currently only open to new applicants for charitable status. Existing charitable companies and charitable industrial and provident societies will be able to apply to convert to SCIO from January 2012.
"The SCIO provides an attractive option for many existing charities and those new organisations applying for charitable status," said Jane Ryder, chief executive of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). "However, there are important differences between the SCIO and other types of charity, with implications that must carefully be considered. I would therefore recommend that those considering SCIO status and their advisers should read our guidance and ensure that they are familiar with the requirements."
OSCR has produced new guidance and information, and is meeting with local support groups to outline the practicalities of the SCIO as part of its existing Outreach Programme. Further information on the Regulations is available from the Scottish Government.