Charities and Social Enterprise

Charities and Social Enterprise

Charities, whatever their size, have to comply with certain organisational and reporting legal requirements, both when they are established and as ongoing duties.

As a charity, you want to be getting on with your key work, making a difference in the world, so you need expert, informed advice that can enable you to concentrate on what is important and support you all the way.

We have a wealth of experience in charity law and have worked closely with and helped a large number of publicly funded and not-for-profit organisations of all sizes and types over many years.

We understand the unique challenges of the charity and social enterprise sector. We know each client is different, and our flexible approach coupled with substantial specialist knowledge of this expanding sector means we can offer a tailored approach, utilising teams across the firm to provide your organisation with the advice and support it needs.

Our expert team offers a range of specialist charity services, including:

  • Applications for charitable status including the drafting of constitution documentation
  • Incorporation of all types of charities, including the preparation of their constitutional documents
  • Issues to consider when selecting the type of legal structure for a charity whether as a company limited by guarantee, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) or other entity type
  • Setting up businesses as Social Enterprises
  • Setting up and managing Charitable Trusts
  • Governance and regulatory matters relating to charitable status, including Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) submissions, consents and notifications
  • Charity administration
  • Amendment of constitutional documents
  • Director and Trustee duties and best practice in areas including the application of charity assets, remuneration and the management of conflicts of interest
  • Employment matters, contracts and policies
  • Visas, immigration and sponsorship under Tier 2 (General) and Tier 5 (Charity Workers)
  • Winding up and merger of charities
  • Powers and duties of trustees

With full legal services available in each of our office locations, you can find all the legal support and advice you need close at hand.

Why Thorntons?

A few reasons why our clients
come to us for help


and practical advice and guidance


teams across our locations


the needs of the third sector

Meet The Experts

We have a full range of services for the Charities and Social Enterprise sector, backed by our team of Expert Lawyers

Our Local Offices

We have offices across Scotland, offering legal advice and property services

View All Offices


+44(0)1382 229111


+44(0)1333 314395


+44(0)1241 872683


+44(0)1334 652285


+44(0)131 225 8705


+44(0)1307 466886


+44(0)1592 268608


+44(0)1674 673444


+44(0)1738 621212

St Andrews

+44(0)1334 477107

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