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Community benefit societies and CICs

Find out more about community benefit societies and community interest companies with our collection of articles, books and links.

What's on this page?

  • Useful links
  • Model documents
  • Company data
  • Articles and books from the Library

Contact the Library

Expert help for your enquiries and research.

E  library@icaew.com

T  +44 (0)20 7920 8620

Featured link

Community Interest Companies (CICs)
(ICAEW, 2019)
Technical helpsheet covering key aspects of the legal, regulatory and reporting frameworks for Community Interest Companies (CICs).

Featured book

Charitable incorporated organisations
(Directory of Social Change, 2018)
Practical guidance for voluntary sector practitioners and professional advisers on establishing new CIOs or convert existing charities.  

Useful links


Audit of clubs, associations and societies
Technical helpsheet regarding audit regulations for clubs and associations. Last updated July 2019.

Community Interest Companies (CICs)
Technical helpsheet to help ICAEW members understand key aspects of the legal, regulatory and reporting frameworks for Community Interest Companies (CICs). Last updated October 2019.


Community interest companies: guidance chapters
Guide for people who want to form a CIC, other stakeholders and those giving professional advice about CICs.

Legal forms for social enterprise: a guide
Explains the various forms of social enterprise companies available, including limited companies, CICs, industrial and provident societies (ISPs) and LLPs. 

Setting up a social enterprise
Information on the business structures available if you want to set up a business that has social, charitable or community-based objectives.


Community Interest Companies (CIC) Association
The CIC Association provides regional and topic based discussion groups (including Accounts and Setting up a CIC groups) and video resources. It aims to be the representative body for all CICs in the UK.

Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies
The CIC Regulator decides whether an organisation is eligible to become, or continue to be a CIC. It is responsible for investigating complaints and provides guidance on setting up CICs. It publishes a monthly list of new CICs registered in the last month.

Social Enterprise UK
National body for social enterprise in the UK. Lobbies on the sector's behalf, produces research reports and runs events and courses. 

Guides and publications

Community shares handbook
Guidance from the Community Shares Unit for societies and practitioners who provide advice on community shares. The term is used to describe the withdrawable share capital of co-operative and community benefit societies. 

Registered societies: an introduction
Information on registered societies, including community benefit societies, from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Includes how to register, reporting requirements and how to change a society’s rules and details.

Mutuals public register
Search for information on community benefit societies including registered office and contact information. Public documents such as annual returns and accounts, registration documents and society rules can be obtained for a fee. The register is provided by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).


Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014
Full text of the Act, which replaces the ‘industrial and provident society’ legal form with two new legal forms: co-operative society and community benefit society. The Act consolidates previous legislation relating to industrial and provident societies including the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965, the Friendly and Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1968 and Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2003.

Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004
Full text of the Act, which created the community interest company as a legal form in the UK.

Model documents

The ICAEW Library holds checklists, engagement letters and other model documents. Copies of these can be supplied subject to copyright law and licences agreements - see our document delivery service for further details. 

To request model documents from the Library, please call us on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or email library@icaew.com

Company data

We can provide data on Community Interest Companies using the FAME financial database. FAME can identify CICs in a particular sector and location, obtain company reports, create mailing lists or generate comparative lists of companies that you can use to benchmark an organisation. 

We provide FAME reports free of charge to ICAEW members and ACA students. This service is not available to members of the public.

Articles and books in the Library collection

Selected books

Handbook of co-operative and community benefit society law
(Jordan, 2016)
A useful resource for societies of every size across all sectors. Provides a full treatment of the law on co-operative and community benefit societies based on the 2014 reforms and recent legal cases.

Jordans company secretarial precedents
(Jordans, 2016)
Includes a chapter on Community Interest Companies, providing relevant precedents and information on aspects such as their registration, regulation, structure and governance, contents of articles and legal restrictions on how CIC funds and assets can be raised and used. 

Find more articles and books

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports through our document supply service.

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by web chat or by email at library@icaew.com.

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