CIC Association

Serving Community Enterprise

Social Enterprise Mark - A double audit fee for CICs?

Update Feb 10 2011- With the recent increase in the Social Enterprise Mark fee to £350 a year from £99, a number of members have moaned to me that we still havent made any progress on the points made in this original post.


1. What shall we do, if anything?  They dont want to address our concerns and the criteria still split CICs, Co-ops and Charities..some can, some cant. 


2. Is 372 members a good return for £1million of taxpayers money? Thats over £2500 per member, why have they increased the fee's by so much?


3. The Association received a phone call from BMG, who are conducting the State of social enterprise survey for the SEC, who back the Mark and are part owners, apparently the Association ISNT a social enterprise.......what do you guys think of that?  should CICs stop trying to be part of it and position ourselves as more than social enterprise? Part of the Third Sector??


4. One suggestion has been to offer a social business mark to all CICs for free? opinion?


Im confused and a little tired with this, how can we finally get to a situation where I dont have to bother anymore?  


Your guidance please


Hi Everyone

The brand identifier has been delayed, and we want to use this time to gather more member opinion on it and feed that back into the powers that be. It seems we are all very keen to improve awareness, which is the aim of the Identifier, but it doesnt seem to be a popular product with a few serious problems.

We'd like to hear your opinion whatever it is, so far we've had a range of opinions in from members but a couple of clear themes are emerging. I hope to stimulate the debate by making a couple of statements as a default position, and will adapt them subject to your feedback. It would be great if you could post your replies onto this blog, but im aware some of you would prefer to email me direct at

We hope to get a chance to put your views before any decisions are made.

1. CIC Association CIC members feel it would be unfair on CICs to have to pay a second audit fee for the Mark , when we pay for and prove our status as social enterprise via the Regulator. Having to pay this charge every year would be unfair to CICs , who already prove their status to the Regulator every year with our Annual Community Interest Test. We want an exemption for CICs from having to pay any second audit fee to be able to use the Social Enterprise Mark.

2. CICs would like to ensure any awareness campaigns include CICs and explanations of what CIC is what we as practitioners do. We'd like to ensure we maximise the opportunity to raise CIC awareness at the same time, as we have no awareness budget.

On a lighter note, we 've just burst through the 500 members and have some really positive announcements coming shortly, keep those suggestions and offers coming!


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Comment by Mike Deacon on November 24, 2009 at 19:30
Hi John

I totally agree. Moreover, trading CIC's pay Corporation Tax on their profits (charities do not). Therefore, if we are part of the Third Sector, we CIC's pay our dues more than handsomely. There seems to be some unfairness building, and we need to effectively lobby the CIC regulator to champion our cause with BIS and the Government.

Keep up the good work.



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