CIC Association

Serving Community Enterprise

Hi all,

So new around here, it hurts! Firstly let me say how pleased I am to find this veritable cornucopia of useful information, it's very refreshing after blundering around in the Companies House site and various other official on-line resources for far too long!

I could do with some help and suggestions please. I represent the Herne Bay Independent Retail Group. Currently we are just a loose-knit group of like-minded individuals who, for the past year or so, have been supporting the local independent retailers by organising events, offering marketing and business advice, training etc. with the purpose of revitalising the "High Street", increasing footfall and ensuring the retailers have a voice in matters arising with the local council etc.

Presently we have no "entity" as such and we now need to have in order that we can take advantage of various grants etc. It would appear to me that we pass the "CIC Test" and that a CIC CLS would be the best entity type for us to adopt - I'm not certain of that though so any comments and advice gratefully received!

I'm also trying to get my head around the "asset lock" and for a while I had no idea what this was - it might have been an actual padlock on the petty cash tin for all I knew! I think though that, if I read it right, the asset lock is a body, another CIC entity, but, what is their role other than to be the recipient of assets should the CIC be wound-up and, how do you find such a body if you don't know of one locally?

I think that's all for now. Thanks in advance.


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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Nigel,

The asset lock is not another body, it's just a set of rules that prevent a CIC giving it's assets to it's members or to any other private individual or organisation (whether on winding up or during the life of the CIC).

You can name another assset-locked body (such as a Charity or another CIC) you want to give assets to in the constitution (the 'Articles') - or you can leave it open to any asset-locked body (approved by the CIC Regulator).

It sounds like you should leave this open - or you can always put in CIC Association CIC!

For guidance on the Share or Guarantee CIC decision why not take a look at my new free web resource:

Good luck my family live in around Whitstable, Herne Bay and Tankerton

A CIC is designed to be sustainable over the long term that is what the asset lock and social purpose are about as well as the reinvestment of 65% on any profits made from your activities.  The asset lock is not another entity it simply means you cannot be purchased or sold to any entity that is not asset locked as well e.g. another CIC or a Charity. This is to stop trade sales for profit by the shareholders and the loss of the CICs assets and purpose.

You are in reality a trade association seeking to work together to develop the local environment and capacity for small retailers in the area and deliver value added shopping experience and services to the community and to some extent provide collective capability to out fox the big corporate retailers but creating a distinctive local feel and sense of community and local engagement.

If you are seeking grants your CIC status may help you can also apply for social impact bonds which attract significant tax relief. You may wish to expand the scope of the CIC to include group buying and shared services to reduce your costs, improve your margins as retailers without increasing prices.

If this is part of the vision then a CIC feels right, if you simply want a legal vehicle for membership fees and not do any trading then perhaps its not the right model and a trust or foundation would be OK

Hope that helps



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