There are many good reasons why you may wish to establish a charity. Apart from the pursuit of good causes, a registered charity will usually be given special tax status and may benefit from a number of tax exemptions and reliefs.
However, setting up a charity is not always the most appropriate way forward (it may be more appropriate, for instance, to simply make a donation to an existing charity) and, depending on the activity you are proposing to carry out, may not even be legally possible. In addition, whilst setting up a new charity is likely to give the trustees greater control over the funds, it also carries with it significant responsibilities.
It is important to take professional advice to help you decide whether setting up a charity is the right way forward.
Registered UK charities are regulated by the Charity Commission of England and Wales, and must be registered with the Charity Commission on creation if their annual income is anticipated to exceed £5,000.00. The legislation relevant to their creation and governance is the Charities Act 2006. If the charity is incorporated as a company, you will also have to comply with company law.
Our specialist team can guide you through the process from the formation of a charity as a concept to its registration with the Charity Commission and beyond.
Our work includes:-
Advising on all aspects of relevant law and procedure under the Charities Act 2006 and company legislation
Advising on whether your charity’s activity qualifies as ‘charitable’ for the purposes of the Charities Act 2006 and drafting and advising on suitable ‘objects’ clauses
Advising in relation to the powers and responsibilities of charity Trustees
Advising on an appropriate legal vehicle for your charity. The three main alternatives are incorporated companies, Charitable Trusts and unincorporated associations. A company structure may be preferable where the charity is engaged in providing a service and has liabilities such as a premises or body of staff; Charitable Trusts may be more appropriate for grant-making charities, and unincorporated associations for smaller charitable operations. A fourth possibility is the ‘charitable incorporated association’, a new structure that has a separate legal personality (like a company) but need only be registered with and regulated by the Charity Commission. Whatever vehicle you decide on, we can prepare appropriate governing documents
Preparing and submitting your application for registration to the Charity Commission
Dealing with the preparation of annual returns to the Charity Commission and/ or Companies House
Advising charity Trustees in relation to a range of other issues (including appeals, enquiries and investigations; acquisition of assets and entering into commercial contracts)
Ambrose Appelbe is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with registration number 191153.