Charity Law & Charity Formation Lawyers
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A Charity is an entity that exists for a charitable purpose. Most charities have to be registered with the Charities Commission. Mounteney Legal Services’ Charity Registration service is intended to be a highly economical method of establishing a new charity.
The benefits of registering as a Charity include:
- Well-recognised brand, likely to attract goodwill, credibility and confidence, and therefore more likely to obtain donations, voluntary support and opportunities for working
- Significant tax benefits and/or exemptions, in particular the ability to claim an extra 20% gift aid on donations received from taxpayers, and exemption from business rates
Mounteney Legal Services’ Charity Formation Schemes is particularly suited to the many ministries and groups who wish to establish new charities on a low budget. The Christian ethos of our firm often resonates with such groups.
When deciding to use our Charity Formation Service, you should bear in mind that:
- Your entity must be financially sustainable.
- Your entity must be exclusively charitable. This restricts commercial trading and some activities e.g. campaigning. It also means that trustees cannot be paid – they must volunteer. This stops your trustees also being Charity employees, subject to complicated exemptions.
- Running a Charity includes some administrative burdens and costs, the guidelines are complicated; there are accounting requirements and certain matters require reference to the Charity Commission before they can be undertaken
- A Charity is not particularly private – documents must be filed with the Charity Commission and are public. The Charity Commission has the right of regulation and scrutiny and there is possible personal liability for serious breaches of the rules.
Once the decision to register a Charity has been made, we find that a common confusion arises from the need for there to be a legal structure to register as a Charity. Before applying to the Charity Commission to register, we first have to establish that structure and prepare it for registration. It is only once that process is complete that we can actually undertake the Charity registration for you. The normal structure these days for new charities is Charitable Incorporated Organisation (“CIO”), a form of limited liability corporate entity that is registered with the Charity Commission itself, and not at Companies House.
You will normally need at least three people who satisfy the relevant criteria who are willing to take the responsibility of a Charity trustee (or director).
You may also wish to consider our Community Interest Company product.
How long will it take?
It usually takes 2-3 months for our work to conclude. In cases of exceptional urgency (that are rare), where the Charity Commission can be persuaded to expedite their process that time can be reduced to around 6 weeks.
Our work for you includes:
- Taking your instructions
- Establishing the underlying entity
- Application for registration of the entity as a Charity.
Please note that ultimately the success of the registration is not within this firm’s gift, and will depend on the Charity Commission’s views of the information with which they are provided. That ultimately will have come from you. Accordingly we do not guarantee the success of your registration – although our registration applications are normally successful.