The following Private Client guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
There are currently a number of structures that are appropriate for a charitable institution to adopt, the most common being:
an unincoporated association
a company limited by guarantee
a charitable incorporated organisation
Additional forms consist of:
a company incorporated by Royal Charter
a statutory corporation
a company limited by shares
an industrial and provident association
a friendly society
community interest company
It is likely that in time the new charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) introduced by the Part 11 of the Charities Act 2006 (CA 2006) will replace the company limited by guarantee as a choice as it has the advantages of this format but is only regulated by the Charity Commission (CC).
When deciding on the format of the charity the CC have a helpful guide: Charity types: how to choose a structure.
It is important to recognise that there are significant differences between incorporated and unincorporated organisations.
The main points in respect of incorporated institutions is that:
they have a legal entity separate from that of their members or its controllers
this separate legal identity allows the incorporated institution to:
own property in its own name
enter into agreements with third parties
incur liabilities for which its members have no responsibility
These organisations would be all those charitable options, save for trusts and associations.
On the other hand,
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