Legal advice on charity registration
Charity registration has various merits but the process of forming a charity requires expert guidance.
An organisation which wishes to carry out charitable activities would normally benefit by establishing itself as a charity and registering at the Charity Commission.
The beneficial effects of charity law and regulation, as well as status in the eyes of the public and potential donors (including tax benefits), will be undeniable after completing a charity registration.
There are various aspects of the process of establishing a charity:
- What is a charity – a charity is defined as having objects within the categories which are exclusively charitable and providing public benefit
- Charitable objects – the organisation will therefore need carefully defined objects which come within the definition of what is charitable, laid out in The Charities Act 2006
- Constitution – charities take different forms: unincorporated associations, companies limited by a guarantee, charitable incorporated organisations and trusts, with different characteristics and requirements; the form most appropriate to the way the charity will operate needs to be chosen
- Operation of the charity – the constitution will spell out the procedures for the operation of the charity, the extent of the trustees' duties and responsibilities and provide the legal and practical framework for the working of the charity
- Charity registration – the constitution will have to be submitted to the Charity Commission for approval. This may involve discussion and negotiation, for example over the extent of the trustees' powers and the definition of the charitable objects
- Getting started – registration will confirm charitable status, and its advantages. The trustees will then need advice on aspects of establishing the charity and commencing its work.
We can help advise on the legal, regulatory and practical requirements of establishing a trust, from the initial concept through to registration and the launch of the new charity and its work.
For further information about our charity registration service, please contact one of the team.