In many ways, charities are similar structures to ordinary companies, which is why they are governed by certain relevant sections of the 2006 Companies Act. There are also key differences, however, which is why all charities require specialist solicitors to incorporate and register them under the relevant legal guidelines.
Before you apply for status as a recognised charity, you need to decide which specific sort of charity you want to be and what legal structure you wish to have. The legal structure of your charity will be defined by its ‘governing document’ (this is the legal document that establishes your charity and lays out precisely how it will be run).
The structure type you choose will affect how your charity operates, specifying:
- who will manage your organisation and how membership will operate
- whether it will employ its own staff or employ people on a contractual basis
- the extent of personal liability of its trustees
The four main distinct types of charity structures are:
- charitable incorporated organisations
- charitable companies (limited by guarantee)
- unincorporated associations
You need to make sure you choose the structure that best fits what your organisation sets out to achieve. The charities team at Murria Solicitors have a great deal of experience helping new charities figure out whether they need a corporate structure and whether they require a wider membership.
Murria’s dedicated team of charity specialists can also draft or amend your constitution in accordance with the changing dynamics of your organisation, ensuring that you don’t lose your charitable status. We advise on all aspects of charity formation and registration within the Charity Commission. We make sure that you comply with all regulations and any other legal issues that arise in relation to your charitable status.
The benefits of charitable status are enormous but with them comes great responsibility. Murria Solicitors make sure you meet those responsibilities head on.