Parliament has passed legislation that will enable community interest companies and charities with company structures to convert more quickly into charitable incorporated organisations.
CIOs, which allow charities to enter into contracts as corporate entities with limited liability for trustees and members, were included in the Charities Act 2006.
After lengthy delays, they finally became a new legal structure in 2013. Since then 12,500 CIOs have registered with the Charity Commission.
Last week's legislation will allow charities wishing to convert to do so swiftly as part of a phased timetable announced the following day by the commission.
The timetable (below) allows organisations with annual incomes of less than £12,500 to be the first to convert. Organisations with incomes above £500,000 will have to wait until August next year.
A statement by the commission, which regulates as well as registers CIOs, said the conversion process "should be simple and straightforward in most cases".
The regulator said it would liaise with Companies House to ensure the date of conversion to a CIO coincides with the date of removal of the charitable company at Companies House.
Date Annual income
1 January 2018 Less than £12,500
1 March 2018 Between £12,500 and £25,000
1 May 2018 Between £25,000 and £100,000
1 June 2018 Between £100,000 and £250,000
1 July 2018 Between £250,000 and £500,000
1 August 2018 Greater than £500,000.