About us.

Businesslegal is a legal services consultancy established since 1994 so we have 30 years experience in supporting successful charity registrations. We have considerable expertise in registration of a charity in England and Wales with the Charity Commission and with the OSCR (Office of Scottish Charity Regulator) in Scotland. We also offer advice services to Charities which are already registered.

We have a passion for dealing with charity sector admiring its ethos, values, goals and visions. We are members of the Charity Law Association.

Legal structures

We can help you through the process including choosing the right governing documents (eg a trust, charitable incorporated organisation, company limited by guarantee or a constitution), using our legal expertise to draft your charitable purposes and advising how the charity can benefit the public. This is a technical charity law requirement. We will take an interest in more than just the documents we are drafting for you, and seek to give you holistic advice that will assist you to run your charity successfully from the outset. We provide 24/7 support throughout the process along with professional aftercare to help you achieve good governance practice.

If you are running an unincorporated charity with no limitation on its liability, it is crucial to remember that the trustees may be personally liable should there be a claim against the charity. Therefore the right solution for you may be setting up a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). CIOs are designed specifically for charities. While a CIO is a charity, its incorporated status means that it is a separate ‘legal entity’ and can therefore contract in its own name. The liability of members of a CIO is also limited.

If you  already have an organisations set up legally but need expert advice on how to register  as a charity again we have the necessary expertise.

Registration issues and process

A charity number is reassuring to the public when you are fundraising. It gives the public confidence to donate as the number is proof that your organisation is regulated by the Charity Commission (or OSCR in Scotland).

The registration process with the Charity regulators is rigorous because they have to consider applications by applying both charity and case law. They also have a duty to ensure that potential charities comply with the requirements of public benefit and very detailed information has to be given in the application to cover these issues.

The issues you have to satisfy the Charity Commission on include (but are not limited to):-

  • Having a satisfactory governing document with appropriately drafted charitable objects
  • Satisfying  the public benefit test
  • Dealing with conflicts of interest between directors and the charity
  • Meeting financial thresholds
  • Directors/trustee remuneration advice – not all directors/trustees can be paid
  • Where there is a private benefit to an individual or business – that such benefit is merely incidental to the greater benefit for the public.
  • Putting in place appropriate child protection and/or vulnerable adults policies
  • Having an appropriate grant giving policy
  • Where working abroad that you have adequate risk assessment and audit/reporting procedures in place.

The Charity Commission and OSCR are very keen to establish that appropriate procedures and policies are in place before they agree to register a charity. We can deal with all these matters for you.

We communicate on a very regular basis with the Charity Commission and OSCR so we are well versed in how they operate, their personnel and procedural requirements. We endeavour to make your application to register a charity  as quick and problem free as humanly possible. We explain everything and keep you informed of progress along the way.

Gift Aid

We can also assist charities who wish to register with HMRC so that they can claim gift aid relief on donations from individuals. This is an entirely independent process to registration with the Charity Commission.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for a no obligation discussion and advice on how to register a charity in the UK or complete our application form and we will contact you to take your proposed charity registration further.