Creation of charities in Scotland
Produced in partnership with Gavin McEwan of Turcan Connell
Creation of charities in Scotland

The following Private Client practice note produced in partnership with Gavin McEwan of Turcan Connell provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Creation of charities in Scotland
  • Decisions on creating a charity
  • Choice of legal vehicle
  • Unincorporated organisations
  • Trusts
  • Companies limited by guarantee
  • Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations
  • Other forms of constitution
  • Application for charitable status
  • Charity test
  • More...

Decisions on creating a charity

When creating a charity, there are critical decisions to be made about the choice of legal vehicle and on how to approach the application process for approval of charitable status. However, prior to the start of this process, consideration should be given so to whether a charity is the right means of fulfilling the aims to be achieved.

Objects to be carried out must be recognised as charitable within the definitions set down in the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 (2005 asp 10) (CTI(S)A 2005), and they must demonstrably provide or be intended to provide public benefit. Practical issues about how activities will be funded and work carried out form a part of this preliminary decision making stage. The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) guidance on Being a Charity in Scotland is a useful starting point at the outset.

Choice of legal vehicle

Once the decision is made to create a charity, it is necessary to consider what structure the charity should take. The choice of legal vehicle will be influenced by a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  1. the scale of intended activity

  2. whether a membership structure is intended and what the rights and duties of members are to be

  3. whether the charity is to operate in other jurisdictions

  4. the degree to which legal personality may

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