Support for Organisations: Getting Started [2]

Type of Organisation

To set up a new charity, you must decide what sort of legal structure it will have.

Your charity structure is defined by its ‘governing document’ (the legal document that creates the charity and says how it should be run). The type of structure you choose affects how your charity will operate, such as:

  • who will run it and whether it will have a wider membership
  • whether it can enter into contracts or employ staff in its own name
  • whether the trustees will be personally liable for what the charity does

There are four main types of charity structure:

  • charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)
  • charitable company (limited by guarantee)
  • unincorporated association
  • trust

You need to choose the right structure for your charity, depending on whether you need it to have a corporate structure and whether you want to have a wider membership.