Establishment, registration & incorporation

From registering organisations with novel charitable purposes to achieving registrations in tight turnarounds, we’ve helped countless organisations to establish themselves as charities.

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to setting up a charity. However, there are common stages and issues that we see every time. We’ll use our decades of experience to steer you efficiently through and get you up and running. It’s part of our history – we’ve registered many “firsts”, including the first charity to have promotion of sustainable development recognised as a charitable purpose by the Charity Commission.

How we help

If your charity has an unincorporated legal form, such as a trust or an unincorporated association, we can help you to decide if incorporation is the right step.   Generally these days we recommend that a charity is established in an unincorporated form where it does nothing but grant funding, or its operations are very simple. That’s because unincorporated charities do not have a ‘separate legal personality’ and there are circumstances where the trustees might have to meet the liabilities of the charity.

Incorporation is the process where we set up a new charitable incorporated entity and transfer the assets and liabilities to it from the existing unincorporated charity. You can draw on our expertise to decide if it’s right for your organisation, or consider other possibilities.

Perhaps you’re an established international charity looking to set up in the UK. We can support every step of your journey, from explaining the UK regulatory regime to advising on your immigration issues.

Choosing the right legal form

We can explore the angle of legal structures with you, to evaluate the best one to meet your needs.

You might want to consider:

  • Vehicles such as a charitable incorporated organisation, a trust, a company limited by guarantee or even a charitable community benefit society;
    How to involve members or other stakeholders in your governance;
  • Bespoke processes for appointing trustees
  • We’re also experienced in helping organisations spin out of other vehicles, and with helping entities achieve Royal Charter status.

We can also advise you on:

  • Defining your charity’s purposes
  • Drafting your governing document including defining your charitable purposes.
  • Registering with the Charity Commission, Companies House and HMRC, as well as other relevant regulators.
  • Drafting an essential suite of policies to make sure you’re legally compliant and can start your journey with solid governance foundations
Meet our team
You May Also Be Interested In

Charities update: Horizons

Our latest update for charities and social enterprises provides practical legal insights into the opportunities and challenges for charities in …
Read more

On demand | Spotlight, the annual Bates Wells charity conference 2022

This year’s Spotlight conference took place at the Royal Society of Arts. We’re pleased to share recordings of the four …
Read more

Charities Act 2022 – when will the new provisions come into force, and what should you be doing in preparation?

The range of helpful provisions in the Charities Act 2022 will come into force in stages. The first provisions came …
Read more

Setting up a corporate foundation

Setting up a charity connected to your business is a great way to amplify your company’s positive impact. We have …
Read more

Setting up a charity

We have helped countless organisations to establish themselves as charities. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to setting up …
Read more