Helping charities overseas

One of our members asked:
“We want to set up an organisation in Yorkshire with links to a rural village community in South Africa. We want to raise awareness and funds by running a community cafe with all the profits going to community projects in South Africa.
I am looking through all the guidance at Companies House and at the CIC regulator and I want to know if the community that benefits from a CIC can be based outside of the UK? Also would all the directors and members need to be based in the UK or could some be from South Africa?”

This is a great question and I know quite a few charities and CICs whose main beneficiary is outside the UK. In terms of Company Law in the UK, only the Company address needs to be in the UK and Directors and Members can live anywhere in the world. To set up a CIC (a Community Interest Company), again the address of the CIC needs to be in the UK but the Directors and Members can live anywhere in the world. You will also need to define the community of benefit if you are looking at being a CIC but the guidance states:

community for CIC purposes can embrace either the population as a whole or a definable sector or group of people either in the UK or elsewhere

This is a really helpful thread, as one of the things that I would like to do is redirect some of our funding to building up global links. Following along with interest!


That is a great idea Beatrice! One thing I have learned over the years is also to make sure you reinvest enough profits into your social enterprise to build up some reserves and help the enterprise grow too :slight_smile: