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Charity Business Document Formalities

Guidance Notes: Formalities Required On Business Documents Used By Charities


This Guidance Note: Formalities Required On Business Documents Used By Charities sets out wording for use by charities on various documents which they use in the normal course of conducting their activities. Examples of such documents are: letterheads, emails, faxes, compliment slips, websites, purchase orders, invoices, cheques, and various communications soliciting money/property.

Charities are required by company and charity law to include certain information on such documents, and it is a criminal offence for charities not to include that information. Use of the wording suggested in the Guidance Note will facilitate charities in complying with those legal requirements.

The examples in the Guidance Note are only for use where the charity is a charitable company set up as a company limited by guarantee.

The examples take account of the following legal requirements.

Company status to be indicated - when a charity is formed, it may choose to exclude the word “Limited” as part of its full legal name. If it does so, it must use a statement indicating its form as a company. It is of no legal consequence whether it chooses to include “Limited” rather than exclude it. The examples include separate wording for cases where “Limited” either is or is not included.

Charitable status to be indicated - a charity must indicate its status as a charity. It may do so either by including in its full legal name the word “charity” or “charitable” when it is formed or by using a statement complying with charity law. Neither means is more preferable than the other.

The actual wording required is shown in plain type in the Guidance Notes, and guidance for any additional wording required is in italics.

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