Applications to register as a charity
Whether you want to register a new charity with the Charity Commission, or are required by law to register an existing charity, there are a number of decisions to be made. Of course, much will depend on the nature and size of the charity itself. What are the organisation’s objectives and purposes? How will they be achieved? Will limited liability be important? How will funds be raised? The answers to these (and other) questions will help you decide what type of charity to register as or even whether you should avoid registering as a charity and opt for a different set-up.
We can guide you through this decision making process, advising on the most appropriate model for you. Once that decision has been made, we can assist with putting together the organisation’s constitution in a way that enables it to achieve your objectives, while adhering to the strict regulatory requirements. If you are going ahead with an application to the Charity Commission, we can oversee and advise you on the process, seeing you through to registration and the point at which you can start making a real difference for your beneficiaries.
Articles of association
The most important document for any charity is arguably its constitution. Among other things, this set outs the charity’s objects and what activities it can carry out to achieve them. It will also set out key provisions relating to the appointment and removal of trustees, how they make decisions, and how any conflicts of interest should be dealt with. These matters go to the heart of how the charity will operate, so it’s crucial that the constitution meets the charity’s needs and conforms to the requirements of charity law.
Where the charity is registered as a company limited by guarantee, the company’s articles of association will form its constitution. We can assist with the process of drawing up the articles or amending an existing set. We can also guide you through the process of formally adopting a new set of articles, including (where necessary) liaising with the Charity Commission to obtain its consent to the changes.
Like any organisation that buys or sells goods or services, charities should ensure that the terms on which they do business give them the right level of protection and don’t leave them exposed to unnecessary risks. Indeed, a charity’s trustees have a personal duty to manage the charity’s resources responsibly, so getting the charity’s commercial contracts right is of fundamental importance.
We have a wealth of experience in advising on commercial contracts, ranging from multi-million pound procurements to standard terms of business for owner-managed organisations. Alongside our understanding of the particular concerns faced by charities, this means we can advise in a commercially sensitive way, making sure that you do the right deals on terms that work for you.