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You will find a lot of information about setting up and
running your charity on the official Government website for
the Charity Commission.
STATUTE: CHARITIES ACT 2011
1. Meaning of “charity”
(1) For the purposes of the law of England and Wales, “charity” means an institution which—
(a) is established for charitable purposes only, and
(b) falls to be subject to the control of the High Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction with respect to charities.
(2) The definition of “charity” in subsection (1) does not apply for the purposes of an enactment if a different definition of that term applies for those purposes by virtue of that or any other enactment.
S. 3 DESCRIPTIONS OF PURPOSE
(1) A purpose falls within this subsection if it falls within any of the following descriptions of purposes—
(a) the prevention or relief of poverty;
(b) the advancement of education;
(c) the advancement of religion;
(d) the advancement of health or the saving of lives;
(e) the advancement of citizenship or community development;
(f) the advancement of the arts, culture, heritage or science;
(g) the advancement of amateur sport;
(h) the advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation or the promotion of religious or racial harmony or equality and diversity;
(i) the advancement of environmental protection or improvement;
(j) the relief of those in need because of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage;
(k) the advancement of animal welfare;
(l) the promotion of the efficiency of the armed forces of the Crown or of the efficiency of the police, fire and rescue services or ambulance services;
(m) any other purposes—
(i) that are not within paragraphs (a) to (l) but are recognised as charitable purposes by virtue of section 5 (recreational and similar trusts, etc.) or under the old law,
(ii) that may reasonably be regarded as analogous to, or within the spirit of, any purposes falling within any of paragraphs (a) to (l) or sub-paragraph (i), or
(iii) that may reasonably be regarded as analogous to, or within the spirit of, any purposes which have been recognised, under the law relating to charities in England and Wales, as falling within sub-paragraph (ii) or this sub-paragraph.
S. 4 THE PUBLIC BENEFIT REQUIREMENT
(1) In this Act “the public benefit requirement” means the requirement in section 2(1)(b) that a purpose falling within section 3(1) must be for the public benefit if it is to be a charitable purpose.
(2) In determining whether the public benefit requirement is satisfied in relation to any purpose falling within section 3(1), it is not to be presumed that a purpose of a particular description is for the public benefit.
(3) In this Chapter any reference to the public benefit is a reference to the public benefit as that term is understood for the purposes of the law relating to charities in England and Wales.
(4) Subsection (3) is subject to subsection (2).
S. 11 CHARITABLE PURPOSES
In the rest of this Act, “charitable purposes” means, except in so far as the context otherwise requires, purposes which are exclusively charitable purposes (as defined by section 2(1)).
S. 177 Meaning of “charity trustees”
In this Act, except in so far as the context otherwise requires, “charity trustees” means the persons having the general control and management of the administration of a charity.
Some charities are ‘excepted’ from charity registration. This just means they don’t have to register or submit annual returns. Apart from that, the Charity Commission regulates them just like registered charities and can use any of its powers if it needs to.
A charity is excepted if its income is £100,000 or less and it is in one of the following groups:
* churches and chapels belonging to some Christian denominations
* charities that provide premises for some types of schools
* Scout and Guide groups
* charitable service funds of the armed forces
* student unions
In practice, some of these charities’ income is below £5,000, the normal threshold for registration, so they wouldn’t have to register anyway.
They are different from exempt charities, which are exempt from registration and regulation by the commission.
LAW - If you need independent advice about charity law the
Charity Law Association may be able to help.
website is provided on a free basis as a public information
service. copyright © Cleaner
Oceans Foundation Ltd (COFL) (Company No: 4674774)
Studios, BN271RF, United Kingdom.
is a charity without share capital.