Charity Law

Charities are a unique type of organisation driven by the overriding objective of promoting and supporting worthy causes.  They have specific needs relevant only to those operating in the charitable sector as well as more general needs common to any type of commercial enterprise.

To set up a charity you will need to have a purpose which benefits the public, such as (but not limited to) relieving poverty, promoting amateur sports or improving racial harmony.  You will need to decide whether to operate through a company, charitable trust or some other structure and you will need to find people willing to act as trustees. 

Funding will be required to get you off the ground and to cover your initial operating costs. If the charity’s annual income will be over £5,000, or you choose to operate through a charitable incorporated organisation, you will need to register with the Charity Commission.  Registration with HMRC will also be required if you wish to take advantage of the tax reliefs afforded to recognised charities.

In addition to these charity-specific steps, you will also need to find premises to operate from, staff to help you with fund-raising activities and management tasks, as well as professional advisors to deal with everything from the preparation of contracts of employment to disputes over gifts of money or property left to you in a will. 

Our charity law advisors provide guidance and support to a range of charities seeking to promote a variety of good causes.

They can help with:

  • forming a new charity;
  • restructuring an existing charity;
  • charity mergers or acquisitions;
  • registering a charity with the Charity Commission;
  • obtaining recognised charitable status from HMRC;
  • creating corporate governance documents;
  • advising charity trustees;
  • drafting contracts of employment and service agreements;
  • dealing with disciplinary and grievance matters concerning employees;
  • taking a lease of commercial premises;
  • buying or selling commercial property;
  • commercial contracts;
  • funding arrangements; and
  • dissolving a charity where it is no longer viable.

We can also help with civil disputes concerning charitable legacies and the lawyers in our wills, trusts and probate team can assist with the formation and administration of charitable trusts.

Advising charities throughout Kent and beyond

We have offices in Maidstone, Gravesend, Chatham and Tenterden where we can meet you to discuss your requirements.

We can also offer meetings at your place of business or via a skype conference call if necessary, for instance for clients who frequently need to travel abroad. 

Funding

An initial appointment to discuss your requirements can be arranged from £95 plus VAT.  After that we can facilitate flexible payment terms, including monthly billing to help you budget. 

Get in touch

If you need help to set up or run a charity, please get in touch to see how we can assist. You can call us on 01474 351199 or use our contact form and we will call you.

 

For further information please call to speak to one of our experts on 01474 351199