Forming or Restructuring a Charity

If you are looking to set up a new charity, or wondering how to merge two or more existing charities – we can help you.  There are a number of formal requirements which must be met and we can steer you through them. We are particular specialists on the new structures of charitable incorporated organisations: CIOs in England & Wales and SCIOs in Scotland. But we can handle charities of all kinds, and non-charitable organisations such as community interest companies (CICs).  We can also handle the new arrangements for direct conversion of charitable companies to CIOs.

We can guide you (or your clients) through the red tape and legislation and make the process as smooth as possible.  We can assist with preparation of governing documents for all types of charities and handle all the negotiations with the Charity Commission or OSCR.

We regularly support clients in forming new CIOs and SCIOs and have supported a number of existing charities through the conversion process.

For new charities planning to operate UK-wide please contact us to discuss the options at an early stage – in some cases a SCIO may be simpler than a CIO.  We also have plenty of experience in setting up new charities as charitable trusts, charitable associations, and charitable companies.

For unincorporated charities wishing to incorporate – i.e. to convert to a CIO/SCIO (or to a charitable company) – we have wide experience to support you through all the steps.  We can help not just forming the new charity, but also also the issue of transfering assets, funding and staff contracts between the old and new organisations, and protecting the old and new entities from the many issues which can arise. We also have specific experience of merging two or more existing charities into a CIO or SCIO including direct CIO to CIO mergers.

Specific services include:

  • Supporting the founders/initial trustees in understanding the requirements of charitable status
  • Drafting of governing documents including advice on wording of charitable objects
  • Registration with the Charity Commission (England & Wales) and/or OSCR (Scotland)
  • Understanding and demonstrating Public Benefit
  • Support on all the specifics of converting an existing charity to a new structure
  • Resolution and transfer agreements allowing one charity to merge with another
  • Getting the new charity’s accounts in order after a merger
  • Governance structures
  • Developing a fundraising strategy
  • Responsibilities of Trustees


In most cases, we can agree a fixed price to cover all stages of the work as summarised above – do get in touch for details.  In general, the use of the CIO or SCIO structure allows us to establish new charities more economically than in the past. Once you are up and running, we are able to offer ongoing support through the Kubernesis Charity Advice Service.

For more details please call 01368 864582 or complete te the form on the Contact Us page.

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