Charity Formation

Description

A Charity is an entity that exists for a charitable purpose. Most charities have to be registered with the Charities Commission. Mounteney Solicitors’ Charity Registration service is intended to be a highly economical method of establishing a new charity.

The benefits of registering as a Charity include:

  • Well-recognised brand, likely to attract goodwill/ credibility/ confidence, and therefore more likely to obtain donations, voluntary support and opportunities for working
  • Significant tax benefits and/or exemptions, in particular the ability to claim an extra 20% gift aid on donations received from taxpayers, and exemption from business rates

Mounteney Solicitors’ Charity Formation Schemes is particularly suited to the many ministries and groups who wish to establish new charities on a low budget. The Christian ethos of our firm often resonates with such groups.

When deciding to use our Charity Formation Service, you should bear in mind that:

  • Your entity must be financially sustainable - the Charity Commission measures this as meaning it will have an income of at least £5000 p.a
  • Your entity must be exclusively charitable. This restricts commercial trading and some activities e.g. Campaigning. It also means that trustees cannot be paid - they must volunteer. This stops your trustees also being Charity employees
  •  Running a Charity includes some administrative burdens and costs, the guidelines are complicated; there are accounting requirements and certain matters require reference to the Charity Commission before they can be undertaken
  • A Charity is not particularly private - documents must be files and are public. The Charity Commission has the right of regulation and scrutiny and there is possible personal liability for serious breaches of the rules.

Once the decision to register a Charity has been made, we find that a common confusion arises from the need for there to be a legal structure to register as a Charity. Before applying to the Charity Commission to register, we first have to establish that structure and prepare it for registration. It is only once that process is complete that we can actually undertake the Charity registration for you.

You will need at least two people who satisfy the relevant criteria who are willing to take the responsibility of a Charity trustee (or director).

You may also wish to consider our Community Interest Company product and our guide Charity and Social Enterprise.

How long will it take?

It usually takes 2-3 months for our work to conclude. In cases of urgency, where the Charity Commission can be persuaded to expedite their process that time can be reduced to around 6 weeks.

Our work for you includes:

  • Taking your instructions
  • Establishing the underlying entity (usually a Company Limited by Guarantee or Trust)
  • Opening a bank account for the entity
  • Application for registration of the entity as a Charity. This is a two step process
  • First year’s Company Secretarial Service if required
  • A Guidance service.

Please note that ultimately the success of the registration is not within this firm’s gift, and will depend on the Charity Commission’s views of the information with which they are provided.  That ultimately will have come from you. Accordingly we do not guarantee the success of your registration – although we have never yet had a registration application that has not been successful.

Money Matters

Our work will be charged at a fixed fee of £720 including VAT.

Our fee applies regardless of how much work we actually do. In some cases this may mean we’ll get relatively better paid for doing less work than in other cases, in which the fixed fee will barely cover our costs. This is simply the nature of the mutual gamble between a solicitor and their client when they fix a fee.

More detail of all these matters will be outlined in our retainer letter which you will be able to review before you engage us, after pressing the “Buy” button on the website.

If you have any questions or require any further information, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.