Policies and Procedures

What is ORCIC?

The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies (ORCIC)

The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies (ORCIC) is an independent office holder that is appointed by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, Industrial and Strategy (BEIS). Under the UK legislation, Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004 they elect whether an organisation is eligible to become or continue to be a community interest company (CIC). A CIC is a business or type of company that has primary social objectives that want to use its profits and assets for public projects and to benefit communities. CICs must be limited companies when set up and cannot be a charity organisation although an existing charity can convert to a CIC with the correct permissions but will lose its charitable status. Owners of CICs are considered to be philanthropic entrepreneurs and investors that may want to support many projects rather than be limited to one cause as with a charity. CICs play a valuable role in creating a robust, sustainable community and are considered easy to set up but have some unique features to make sure they are working for the benefit of the community. CICs concern themselves with reinvesting for a purpose within the business or the community rather than expanding profit for a shareholder of the company or owners, The CICs invest in areas such as

  • Social issues.
  • Environmental issues.
  • As well as operating in many different areas of the economy.

The Regulator oversees the CICs, the first Regulator of CICs was appointed in 2005 and the Regulators office started to receive applications later that year.

What are the Functions of ORCIC?

The function of the Regulator is laid out in the Community Interest Company Regulations 2005 they provide informed advice and perform impartial and fair regulatory decisions including the ‘light-touch regulation.’ The Regulator takes on several different roles such as:

  • Investigating complaints and taking actions deemed necessary.
    • The Regulator can appoint auditors at their own expense to examine and report to them on any accounts belonging to a CIC. Although these powers are used more rarely to obtain evidence on whether enforcement of Regulations should be used in a CIC. The Regulator can use this evidence to:
  • Bring civil proceedings against the named company owners
  • Appoint or remove directors
  • To appoint a manager to a CIC
  • To order a transfer of shares
  • To present a petition to the courts of a CIC’s end
  • Apply to the court for the CIC to be restored to the Register
  • To consider whether or not an application to become a CIC meets the criteria laid out by the ORCIC.
  • The Regulator spends a considerable amount of their time assessing the registration or conversion documents for new potential CICs referred to them by the Registrar. The Regulator then decides if the application is successful or not based on the community interest statement as well as documents supplied upon registration such as the application form. It is for the Regulator to decide if the mission statement for the community satisfies the community interest test.

The Regulator does not take an official approach to the formation of CICs and their decisions instead through the Regulators office, a part-time department located in Companies house in Cardiff, an informal approach to resolving an issue is taken. This can be done via:

  • Letter.
  • Email.
  • Phone-call.
  • To provide guidance enabling a CIC to be formed and regulated correctly including ‘light touch’ regulations of CIC which are minimum interference.
  • The Regulator may provide guidance and assistance on matters that relate to CIC’s this includes consulting with shareholders on any Regulatory guidance before it is issued again this is done informally. The Regulator and the Regulator’s team are also able to discuss matters relating to CICs generally with interested individuals or organisations. However, they are not allowed to give guidance about specific CICs or to presuppose conclusions about CICs in advance of the submission of formal applications made to them.
  • To inform the registrar of Companies House of any successful application so a certificate of incorporation as a new CIC can be issued.
  • To encourage the use of CICs for suitable enterprises.

If you have or are looking to register a CIC and would like assistance in your policy writing or reviewing, please contact us.


Office: 01244 342 618

Mobile Numbers

Joanne: 07764 258 001
Shaun:   07908 688 170