Before you set up a trust board

Choosing a legal structure that’s right for you

If you’re setting up a community organisation – whether social, charitable, or something else – you’ll need to consider which legal structure is most appropriate for the group and its activities.

Will an unincorporated group, operating informally, be sufficient? Or will you need something more formalised, with written rules and procedures, such as an incorporated society or charitable trust board?

There are a number of legal structures that may be suitable, each with its advantages and disadvantages. These include:

  • unincorporated groups
  • incorporated societies
  • trusts
  • charitable trust boards
  • companies
  • industrial and provident societies.

In considering your options it’s important to understand the benefits and implications of each, particularly when it comes to administration, tax status and legal liability.

Before making a decision you should seek professional legal advice.

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Find out about charitable trusts and the Charitable Trusts Register, how to set up an online services account, and where to start when incorporating a charitable trust board.

Searching the Charitable Trusts Register 2 guides

Searching the register for information about charitable trust boards and their status.

Starting a charitable trust board 5 guides

To incorporate a charitable trust board you must submit an application, along with the required documents. There is no registration fee.

Keeping charitable trust board details up to date 5 guides

Ending a charitable trust board 2 guides

There are two ways to end a charitable trust board. If the board is no longer operating, it can apply to be dissolved. If it is unable to pay its debts, it can be placed in liquidation.

Restoring a charitable trust board to the register 1 guide

A trust board that has been removed from the Charitable Trusts Register can apply to us to be restored.

Forms 1 guide

Find the forms you'll need to register your charitable trust board or keep its details up to date. Please note: there are no fees for registering or maintaining a charitable trust board.