In 2021, there were about 169,000 registered charities in England and Wales. That means there are an extraordinary number of good causes available to people who want to donate.
There are also a similar number of organisations that are not run for profit but do not have charitable status.
When you operate a charity, it must abide by the rules laid down by the Charity Commission. Failure to do so could result in losing your status as a registered charity. All the information about your activities are publicly available on the register of charities, which means that potential donors can check you are meeting your obligations.
Part of the process of becoming registered is drawing up a constitution or trust deed that is approved by the commission. This will stipulate facts such as when you hold your AGM, how many times your management committee will meet, and how your accounts will be kept.
To be certain you are meeting all your legal requirements, it is highly advisable to have a knowledgeable partner with experience of operating in the law in the area of charities and not-for-profit organisations.
Our dedicated team works with several charities, some of which are local organisations and others that appear on the Top 300 Charities list. Several of our partners are trustees of charities, which gives us an extra level of understanding of the complex legal requirements that apply in this sector.
As well as the specialised requirements that apply to charities, you may also need assistance with other legal areas such as employment, property or corporate law.
The issues Underwood & Co can help with include:
- AGMs, EGMs and company secretarial matters
- Charitable status
- Company and trust structures
- Charity Commission compliance
- Dissolving charities
- Establishing charities
- Legacy management and disputes
- Trustees’ and directors’ powers and responsibilities