The Charity Commission will begin accepting applications for registration as charitable incorporated organisations, the much-delayed new legal form for charities, from 10 December.
The new form, which was included in the Charities Act 2006 and initially intended to become available from 2008, will allow charities to enter into contracts as corporate entities with limited liability for trustees and members.
Charities taking up CIO status will not need to register with Companies House or be subject to company law, and would still be registered with and regulated by the Charity Commission.
A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said the necessary legislation passed through parliament yesterday. She confirmed the regulator would start accepting applications for registration as CIOs from 10 December.
But she said these applications could not be registered until 28 days after the regulations have been signed off by Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society. This is expected to happen in the next week.