Community Interest Company (CIC) or Community Benefit Society (CBS) or Other?

Links of interest

It seems that most of the hackspaces are either CIC or company limited by guarantee (CLG). But it would be interesting to know if there is one model that fits better or if it just depends on what the “values” (I lack of the better word right now) the hackspace has.

So, discuss.

Lancaster is a company limited by guarantee like Manchester and I believe London.

Not sure what the benefits / differences are.


Richmond Makerlabs is a part of Ham United Group: Private company limited by guarantee without share capital — Community Interest Company (CIC)

We’re both CIC and limited by guarantee :slight_smile:

Maybe you could summarise here the discussion that happened on telegram?

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I found this very usefull:

It is an easy questionnaire that offers you what type of company structure fits you best. Sadly it came up with more options than just CIC or ComBen.

Also registering CIC is done through different channel than Register societies such an ComBem (community Benefit society)

Keeping an eye on this thread!

We’re getting some interest for our “starter” space, and at some point we’ll have to think about official registration. So far, most of the advice seems to be for CICs, so I will start doing a bit more research on that angle.

Thanks to everyone for the advice thus far!

My advice is (and always has been) to incorporate as a CLG first. It is the least-hassle non-profit option and it is easy to convert to another structure if you need to later.

CICs limited-by-guarantee don’t seem to add any value for a hackspace, and they do add more reporting hassle and complexity.

BenComs are useful if you want to raise money by selling community shares, but that’s not something any space has done yet.

A CLG can be converted to both a CIC or a BenCom later. So just use a CLG.

I made a helpful diagram of the various structures: