Community Interest Companies (CICs) were first established in the UK in 2005. Since then they have grown considerably, both in number and in the diversity of the activities they undertake. The CIC legal structure supports a wide range of activities, they range from very small local projects to multi-million pound health services, covering all industry sectors and are located in every area of the UK.
CICs are limited companies which operate to provide a benefit to the community they serve. They are not strictly ‘not for profit’, and CICs can, and do, deliver returns to investors. However, the purpose of CIC is primarily one of community benefit rather than private profit. Whilst returns to investors are permitted, these must be balanced and reasonable, to encourage investment in the social enterprise sector whilst ensuring true community benefit is always at the heart of any CIC.
Excerpt taken from Community Interest Companies: Guidance Chapters – Introduction