Forming Your Charity
If you wish to establish or operate a charity in Ireland there are a number of steps to take and matters to consider:
- All charities must be included in the Register of Charities maintained by the Charities Regulatory Authority. You can register your charity at www.charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie. or contact them at:
Charities Regulatory Authority
St. Martins House, Waterloo Road, Dublin 4
Telephone: 01 633 1500
- A charity can apply for charitable tax exemption, this is a separate process and can be completed using the RevenueCommissioners'leafletand application form, available here-CHY1.
Visit the charity section of the Revenue Commissioner website for more information.
- A charity will have to decide which legal form to take, e.g.: Company Limited by Guarantee, Unincorporated Association, Charitable Trust etc. Further details on these legal forms of organisation can be found in the Forming Your Charity Information Sheet
You must clearly state in your governing document (Constitution etc.) your primary charitable purpose and your charitable objectives (the things that you are going to do), all of which must be in furtherance of your primary charitable purpose.
There are also specific clauses relating to income & property that must be contained in your Constitution, regardless of your legal form. These clauses are available in the Common Requirements document at www.charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie.
The Charities Regulator has also produced a Model Constitution for Companies Limited by Guarantee. This Constitution has been agreed with the Revenue Commissioners and will be suitable for an organisation which will also wish to seek charitable tax exemption status. It incorporates all the required clauses.
The Wheel strongly recommends that you use this template as the basis for your governing document.
In this section you will find information on what you need to know to form a charity, including how to obtain charity status and which legal structure to adopt.
Do you know the legal vehicles available to charities and the features and benefits of each?
Explore some of the key topics associated with forming a charity by visiting the following sections:
Resources for setting up a new charity
The Wheel has prepared a fact-sheet on this topic which is free to download here:
Forming a Charity fact-sheet (pdf 164.46 kb, June 2016)
It details the possible legal vehicles available to charities and the features and benefits of each. It also gives guidance on what to do to get started.