How do I start a charity?

If you are thinking of starting a charity, you should read our guide which will help you decide whether this is the right thing to do.

Start up a charity Guidance on setting up a charity, what to do as it grows and when you should apply to register it with us.

Charities receive tax breaks but are limited in what they can do and have to follow charity law. For example, you will only be able to set up a charity if:

  • it is set up to benefit the public (not you or a company)
  • its aims are all charitable
  • you have a group of people willing to be trustees

Once your charity is set up and its annual income is more than £5,000, you must apply to become a registered charity. The Charity Commission can provide advice on registering your charity but it cannot provide advice on how to set up a charity for the first time.

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