I've just joined this group and wonder if anyone has experience or advice about setting up a CIC where the 'community' is based overseas.
Some brief background information. I'm British but physically based on the Thai side of the Thai/Myanmar border area where I've worked for the past 10 years on commercial construction projects. Recently, my work has taken me on a weekly basis into Myanmar and it's clear that communities in that region can benefit from the most basic of assistance, such as clean water and sanitation systems, education assistance etc.
The geographical location is such that there are no NGOs or charities working in this region. So my wife and I have been donating schools equipment and volunteer teaching using our own funds and some funds that have been donated. I travel weekly into south Myanmar to donate these items and to teach English, Thai and ICT to the local community
However, our non-registered status is a severe hindrance to our work, because we lack credibility as a 'serious' organisation. We are open to possible accusations of misuse of donations and our good friends at Paypal have restricted our account from receiving donations because we cannot provide any official documents to 'prove' our credibility. We also cannot bid for or attract any external sources of funding.
From reading about CICs, and the associated requirements for registering a UK limited company (the director can be based overseas etc), it sounds as if registering a CIC is the best route to legitimise our efforts. My understanding of CICs is that the community does not need to be located in the UK. We would hope to register our CIC to be limited by guarantee, since we will not be paying any dividends etc.
Note that we cannot register our endeavour in Myanmar (no such law yet exists!), and we cannot register it in Thailand because Thai charity/NGO law only allows registration of organisations which benefit communities in Thailand, not overseas.
Hence, my request for any advice about registering a CIC for the benefit of an overseas community.
Simple answer is yes, it is fairly straightforward to have your community of interest overseas, from our CIC Survey last year over 10% of CICs had an international community of interest. Have a look at the Regulators model document (CLG small membership might suit best and is model constitution no1) http://www.bis.gov.uk/cicregulator/forms-introduction/consitution-g...
More than happy to arrange a telephone call if that would help, I spent some time in that region (although I didnt go into myanmar) and those experiences had much to do with me getting involved.