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Things to consider after setting up a Community Interest Company

So, your Community Interest Company (CIC) has been officially set up. You’ve managed to fill out the forms for the regulator, paid the registration fee and secured the incorporation certificate. Congratulations – your CIC is now born into the world and you are the proud parent, ready to nurture its success.

“Proud parent?”, you ask. Yes! You now have something which is completely new to this world and will rely upon you for its growth and protection. Kind of sounds like a new parent to me… So, what are the 4 things that you should be doing in this newfound role?

Don’t fret. This article is here to help you figure that out. So without delay, let’s get into it.

Business Bank Account

You may have already been aware of this one and been looking around for a good banking provider with low fees and rates. If you have, that’s great. If you haven’t, now you know where to begin. In any case, your CIC won’t be able to make its own payments and receive income without a bank account.

Before you incorporated your CIC, all you could do was some window shopping for banking services. But with the CIC’s birth certificate in hand (aka the certificate of incorporation), you can now actually fill in that form to set the new bank account up.

Some things to look out for when choosing a CIC bank account would be:

Quality of service: If you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to rely on their mobile app and maybe some telephone banking. Check the ratings that these banks have for the service types that you would use. 

✅ Locations: If your CIC will be handling cash, then you’ll want to know that there’s a bank branch near you where you can deposit this cash on a regular basis.

✅ Service limitations: Compare and check whether the bank you think is ‘the one’ places any conditional restrictions on the available services or simply doesn’t offer something that you need to make your life easier.

Document and Data Storage Systems

Now this is also a really important one. As a CIC, you will likely need to record and store the personal data of your stakeholders. You will also inevitably have documents in electronic format that need to be kept safe. In order to comply with the law, you should set up a system or buy a storage package that allows you to remain compliant and avoid any trouble. Often, these providers will proudly tell you on their website how they’ll help you meet compliance obligations and avoid data security breaches.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is a great source of information on this topic. They also have a data protection scheme that you might need to sign up to (costs about £40 per year depending on the size and nature of your CIC’s operations). The earlier you sign up, the better because you’ll be less likely to be in breach of the laws around this topic.

If you want more information about this, speak to an expert. We’re chartered accountants and we do what we do well. But if you find yourself in need of more support in this area and the ICO can’t help, then it’s time to find an expert in the law who can advise better on this.

Find an Expert Accountant

Naturally, the expert from CIC Accountants is going to say this, right. But aside from this being a bit of a plug, there is also the very real point here. Some see an accountant as just being there to fill out tax returns and whatnot. Maybe that’s all you need from an accountant and you’ll be a have-a-go hero in this. That’s fine. 

However, don’t mistake a general accountancy practice for an expert one that deals with many hundreds of CICs on a yearly basis. An expert will be able to help you to avoid simple mistakes which compound over time into costly results. They will also support you with regulatory and compliance responsibilities such as registering for any necessary taxes with HMRC.

So, shop around and find an accountant who knows the CIC market so that they can help you navigate the additional complexities that are imposed by the Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies.

Back to our new parent analogy, would you not want your new-born to gain access to expert paediatric check-ups and advice from an experienced midwife or doctor? Of course you would. So why would you try to cut corners with a CIC that you’ve brought into existence to serve a particular community? Think about it.

Many CICs actually don’t make it past the 12 month mark. Don’t let this be you just because you wanted to go it alone or thought you didn’t need accountancy and tax support. This could literally be the difference between success and failure.

Protect Your Brand

Before you can even begin to protect something, you must first own it or have it in your possession. In this case, we are talking about branding and this will be important for you, especially if you are hoping to grow over time.

Things like domain names (eg., your social media handles (eg. @exampleCIC) and your logos are all things that are relatively easy to buy or claim these days. For example, a domain name can cost as little as under £10 per year, but will speak volumes about your brand and professionalism over using a basic email address. For example, using as your email address will likely be a lot more powerful than

Once you buy or claim these, they are yours. If you really want to protect your brand, you can even look into trademarking the name and other intellectual property. However, it is unlikely that trademarking will be necessary if you have a consistent brand name and logo use across multiple platforms.

Understand Additional Regulations and Requirements

I hear you muttering “Additional regulations!??” but on this one, it just really depends on the actual activities that your CIC does. 

If your CIC involves the provision of services or activities with children or vulnerable adults, you may be required to get checks done for the relevant individuals as part of the Disclosure Barring Service – commonly known as the DBS check. This is a government administered check that costs around £20 upwards depending on the level of check you request.

In some industries, there also may be a requirement to take out some sort of insurance also. In our case as accountants, we are required to have a certain level of professional indemnity insurance (PII). If your CIC has motor vehicles, there will be insurance and potential road taxes to pay. Where your company has employees, you will also likely need to take out employer’s liability insurance.

So as you can see, the additional regulations and requirements that you may need to comply with much depends on what industry your CIC operates in, as well as its actual activities. The best way to tackle this if your not sure is to do further research – we can help you with any accountancy and tax related regulations as specialists in these services for CICs. However, you will likely want to consult with a professional in the relevant areas where further information is required.