How do I set up a charity (summary)?

There are six steps to setting up a charity per the Charity Commission guidance.

1) You need to find Trustees for your charity. They are responsible for the operation of your charity and must show they understand their legal requirements.

2) Your charity must have a ‘charitable purpose’ i.e. its purpose is for the public benefit. The Charities Act 2011 calls this the ‘public benefit requirement’.

3) Decide on a name for your charity. Your charity name should not be similar an existing charity, be offensive or misleading.

4) You must choose a structure for your charity. There are four commons types of structure: i) charitable company; ii) charitable incorporated organisation (CIO); iii) charitable trust; and iv) unincorporated charitable association.

5) You must create a ‘governing document’ (or ‘rulebook’) for your charity that explains how your charity is run.

6) You will need to register your charity if its income is at least £5,000 (or a CIO) and based in England and Wales (there are different rules in Scotland and Northern Ireland).

Reference The Charity Commissions guidance:

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