Setting up a Charitable Incorporated Organisation

Recent changes to legal frameworks for establishing a charity means it is now even more vital for anyone wishing to set up a charitable organisation or not-for-profit institution to get expert legal advice.

JMW has an experienced team of solicitors who specialise in working with charities and who have a thorough knowledge of the changes to the law and what they mean. We can offer advice which is up to date, relevant and comprehensive.

To speak to a solicitor about setting up a charity or the implications of the new law on an existing charity or not-for-profit organisation, call us on 0345 872 6666.

The current framework

A charity can currently be set up in one of three ways.

1) As a trust

This is when money or other assets are declared to be held for the benefit of the public.

Charities formed as trusts must be set up in aid of a genuine charitable cause. They must be registered with the Charity Commission.

2) As a club/society

Clubs and societies can also register as charities as long as they are for the public benefit. For instance, a sports club could register as a charity if it was established to help promote health within the local community.

Charities that are societies or clubs must have a chair, as well as a committee. They must be registered with the Charity Commission.

3) As a company

Charities set up as companies have a more traditionally corporate structure. They do not have shareholders, but they do have a membership structure.

Setting up a charity as a company comes with the added complexity of double registration, as both a charity with the Charity Commission and with Companies House as a not for profit company.

The New Framework - Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs)

New changes to the law relating to legal frameworks mean that new charities with a corporate structure which would previously have had to register as both a charity and a company can choose to simply register as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

While this simplifies the application process for new charities, there are important differences between CIOs and charitable companies that need to be taken into account.

Financially speaking

Getting legal advice about the right type of legal framework is vital. Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, which need to be carefully considered.

How we can help

Our solicitors have a wealth of experience in working alongside charities of all kinds, and all sizes. We can advise on the most appropriate structure for your organisation, and whether a conversion from one structure to another should be considered.

For more information about any of the above, and to chat to our expert team about the ins and outs of setting up any kind of charity, call us now on 0345 872 6666.

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