This guide outlines what the law in England and Wales says a charity is.
Part of Set up a charity: step by step
Step 1: Check if setting up a charity is right for you
and Check you're eligible
Step 2: Find trustees
Trustees are responsible for the operation of your charity. They must show they understand their legal requirements.
Step 3: Find out how to choose a charity structure
and Choose a name for your charity
and Decide and write your charity's purposes
Your ‘purposes’ describe what your charity is set up to achieve.
Step 4: Create a governing document
The governing document is a set of rules that explains how your charity is run. It needs to include your charity's structure, name and purposes.
Step 5: Make sure you meet the 'public benefit requirement'
Your organisation must be able to show that it benefits the public.
Step 6: Register your charity
You must apply to register your charity with the Charity Commission if either:
- its income will be at least £5,000 per year
- it’s a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)
You can register your charity’s details with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to get tax back on things like Gift Aid donations.