How to start a charity

There are several steps you should follow in setting up a charity:

1. Find trustees who will be willing to take responsibility for administering the charity.

2. Make sure the charity has charitable purposes for public benefit.

3. Choose a name for your charity.

4. Choose a structure for your charity (unincorporated association, company limited by guarantee, trust, etc.).

5. Create a governing document (constitution, bye laws, trust deed etc.) which includes:

  • a dissolution clause stating that if the charity is wound up, its net funds and other property will be given to another registered charity with similar aims and purposes;
  • a bank mandate requiring financial transactions to be approved by two independent directors, one of whom should be the Treasurer.

6. Ensure you are familiar with the additional requirements for charities:

  • Annual reporting requirements;
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing requirements;
  • Vulnerable Persons Policy for charities that work with youth, seniors, or disabled persons.

7. Apply to register a charity.

There are many laws and regulations involved with starting and running a charity. If you are thinking about starting a charity, you need to be familiar with everything that will be expected of you if you do.

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