Charity Start-ups

Like any organisation, starting a Charity can be difficult. There are many obstacles to consider when starting up a charity such as complicated legal regulations and frameworks & lack of public funding for the third party sector.

Our team can help you determine whether a charity is the right vehicle for your needs and whether it meets the public benefit test. We will help you determine how to constitute the charity, help you create the charity’s governing document and register it with the Charity Commission, Companies House and HM Revenue & Customs as appropriate.

Not all charities need to be registered with the Charity Commission but all should have a constitution (usually called a governing document) to regulate their activities. In addition, all charities must meet the public benefit test.

There are currently five different types of governing document that a charity might currently use:


A constitution or rules for an unincorporated association. This may be appropriate if the organisation does not own valuable assets; it has a membership; and the views of local residents, or other bodies need to be represented through membership, or as users of the facilities.



A trust deed. This may be most appropriate for grant giving charities. This often happens when a benefactor wishes to create a simple charity to make gifts of money to worthy causes.



Articles of association for a company limited by guarantee. A company can own land and enter contracts in its own name. This mitigates risk from individual charity trustees, therefore it may be appropriate to establish a company with a large organisation; or have employees; or deliver charitable services under contractual agreements; or regularly enter commercial contracts; or be a substantial owner of property.



A small charity constitution. This may be appropriate where the organisation’s annual gross income will remain under £5,000




A constitution for a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). This will be appropriate in the same circumstances as for a limited company but will not require registration at Companies House and compliance with company law


If you are starting up a charity and need legal advice or simply want to speak to a member of our expert Team for further information and guidance, please use the request a call back or make an enquiry option to get in touch.

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