Simple really – we wanted to have a company structure that was nimble enough for us to work effectively yet was clearly not-for profit. thePeoplesPower will only work if you will promote the site to your acquaintances – we think you will be more prepared to do this knowing we are not-for profit.
What is a CIC?
A CIC is a new type of company that is simpler to run than a charity, but still has to have a social purpose. To become a CIC we have to pass a “Community Interest Test” – where a regulator decides whether we are fulfilling a social purpose.
- must provide benefits to the community
- must keep its community in touch with its activities
- only use its assets and surpluses for the community specified
- undertakes to complete similar administration as a Limited Company
- must not have any political aims
What does this mean for thePeoplesPower?
- we are committed to running the business ethically
- we will be transparent with you and clearly show any fees we may receive from suppliers in offers we make to you
- we will give you the best offers irrespective of fees or commission offered to us
- we will give you advice on how to find the best deal for you so that if there is a better offer from someone else you will be able to find it
- the assets the company might make are “asset locked” – this means that they belong to the not-for-profit sector and cannot be withdrawn by us for our personal gain.
- investors in the company can only take a small proportion of any profits as dividends … so any investment with us is a social rather than financial investment
- We will consult you on how we should spend any surpluses
- we have committed ourselves to spending surpluses in the areas of energy saving and conservation and renewable energy
- examples might include community schemes for improving insulation, draughtproofing, energy efficiency or community renewable energy schemes
- Find out how we will get the cheapest electricity and gas for you
- its free
- no obligation
- no risk
Official definition of a CIC
“A Community Interest Company (CIC) is a limited company, with special additional features, created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or other activity for community benefit, and not purely for private advantage.” (Source http://www.bis.gov.uk/cicregulator)
Find out more about CICs
The CIC Association has information and support for Community Interest Companies and is a great place to go to find out more and get advice from other members. thePeoplesPower is a CIC Association member. Visit the CIC Association for more information.
Offical information from the CIC regulator
A good concise summary CICs from Voluntary Action Luton