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 anunincorporated 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

Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 24 May

Our weekly round up of news and updates from across the sector.
Read more

Subsidy Control Act receives Royal Assent: key points to note

The Subsidy Control Act (the UK’s domestic equivalent of the EU state aid regime following Brexit) has received Royal Assent.  …
Read more

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

We now know when the range of helpful provisions in the Charities Act 2022 are expected to come into force.  …
Read more

How to introduce a staff hardship fund

As a consequence of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and the cost of living crisis, many employers are considering how they might offer …
Read more

Bates Wells Impact Report 2022

The story so far – extraordinary times, amazing people. Visit our new microsite to learn more. As a B Corp, …
Read more