I'm in the process of setting up a CIC, which will primarily be for the purpose of buying and using rural land parcels for the benefit of the community.
However, the funding to get myself going is my biggest stumbling block, as land is not cheap, and I only have so much myself.
If I set up the CIC, and get it incorporated, if I do not 'do much' for the community in the first year, due to the lengthy process of finding the suitable financial help I need, will it be detrimental to me if the first years community test does not have much to report in the way of community gain??......
Thanks in advance
My view of this is that the community interest test is designed to prevent CICs from carrying out activities that are not for the benefit of the community. You should not be penalised for failing to provide the community benefit you had intended. The regulator will be satisfied as long if you are genuinely working towards your social aims and not causing.
However, if your CIC's articles have "community interest objects", then a failure to carry on activities in pursuit of those objects may be an issue and potentially see the regulator investigating. You may therefore want to state your objects in broad and general terms to avoid this pitfall.
Thank you for the view point, this is what I was hoping for. And if so would certainly take the pressure off a bit to try and do 'it all at once.'
If for example you said ' we are in pre-trading development' the Regulator will understand exactly your situation. But you may want to explain what you have achieved even if it is pre purchase of land.
Consultation, research and development, business plan, website, legal issues, community share issue/ bond, grant application etc are all things done pre-trading.
Many CICs take a good while to get moving, very normal :-)