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The Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation is a legal form unique to Scottish charities and is able to enter into contracts, employ staff, incur debts, own property, sue and be sued.  It also provides a high degree of protection against liability.

However, there are important differences between a SCIO and any other type of body with charitable status in Scotland. Before applying, you should be fully aware of the requirements for this form of charitable status. Our publication, SCIOs: A Guide and our FAQs on SCIOs provide further information.

Managing your SCIO

SCIOs - as with all other charities - must meet certain legal requirements, for example reporting to us on an annual basis.

It is important to understand the operating and reporting requirements for SCIOs. Further information is available in section 5 of our publication, SCIOs: A Guide and the Managing your charity section of our website.

If you want to amend your SCIO’s constitution, you must pass a resolution of the SCIO’s members agreeing to the change. You can use our resolution template for this.

SCIOs are required to keep a register of their trustees and members (this will depend if your organisation is a single tier or two tier structure - see section 2 of SCIOS: A Guide).

Help in setting up your SCIO

We can give you general guidance on the application process and meeting our requirements, but we are unable to give you specific advice in setting up your SCIO. Please see the Help Setting Up Your Charity page for a list of bodies who can provide you with support.

Applying for SCIO status

Our How to Apply page provides advice on the SCIO application process.

If you are an existing charity wishing to change legal form to a SCIO, please read our Making changes to your charity page for further information and an application form.

Read our Incorporation to SCIO: Accounts factsheet for more information on the accounting requirements when incorporating to a SCIO. 

Working with SCIOs

Our Working with SCIOs leaflet gives anyone who is working with, or planning to work with, SCIOs more details about this legal form and how it is regulated. We explain what's different about SCIOs, the rules they must comply with, and what you need to know.

Applications to dissolve a SCIO

SCIOs must apply to us if they want to dissolve. You can complete our application forms to dissolve solvent and insolvent SCIOs. The application forms contain guidance notes.  

Under charity law, we are required to publish all such applications. Current applications can be found here.

Transfer of a SCIO's undertaking

A SCIO may decide that all its property, rights and liabilities should be transferred to another SCIO, resulting in the dissolution of the transferor SCIO. SCIO's must apply to us if they want to take this action. You can download the application form here.*

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