Changing your charities legal form is a significant decision for any charity to take. It is important that charity trustees, before applying to OSCR, consider the full implications of the decision.
For more information on the common types of legal form for Scottish charities see our Legal Forms Factsheet.
Implications include whether you are registered with any other regulator (e.g. Care Inspectorate). We recommend you contact them before submitting any application to OSCR to ensure that you comply with any requirements they have in relation to your proposal.
OSCR has agreements with a number of other organisations and these set out how and when we will work together. These may also help in understanding the requirements of different regulators and their relationship with us. Please see the Memoranda of Understanding page for further information.
This process applies to charities considering changing from an unincorporated body (unincorporated associations and trusts) to a SCIO or a company.
A charity seeking to incorporate must apply to create a new charity, and apply for consent to wind up the existing (old) charity.
Before starting the incorporation process, it is vital that you read our Incorporation Guidance. This guidance sets out the process that must be followed, including links to appropriate application forms and hints and tips on the wider implications charities should consider. We also have FAQs available which may help you with the process.
If you are an Early Years charity thinking about incorporation you should look at the Early Years Scotland factsheet on the process.
The process does mean that the new charity will need to have a different name from old charity. We would recommend adding the year, SCIO or limited to the end of the old charity name so that it is not significantly different. The process also means that there will be two bodies on the Register for a period of time until the process is complete. This gives time to the old charity to fully transfer assets to the new charity. A link will identify this and why.
The guidance outlines each step of the process.
The main steps to consider are:
You may use the Notification of Changes Made Form to inform us of this change. Alternatively, you may write to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to the following address:
9 Riverside Drive
Converting to a SCIO from a Company Limited by Guarantee or a Registered Society or Community Benefit Society
This process applies to any charitable company or Registered Society or Community Benefit Society which wishes to become a SCIO. Please read our SCIO's: A Guide publication and complete the Application for Consent to Convert to a SCIO. Alongside the application form you must also submit signed Trustee Declaration Forms.
Read our Incorporation to SCIO: Accounts factsheet for more information on the accounting requirements when changing legal form to a SCIO.
Please find copies of the resolutions required as detailed in the checklist at the back of the application form:
If you are considering changing to any other legal form (e.g. A company to an unincorporated association) please contact OSCR and we can discuss your specific requirements.