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Trading by Charities

Charity Trading Legal Advice and Support

Many charities carry out trading activities, some as part of the way in which they advance their charitable objects and others in order to raise funds. Non-"primary purpose" trading to raise funds can vary significantly in scope and scale, from smaller scale activities such as selling Christmas cards, through operating shops to the larger scale use of premises to run conferences and other events. Some charities enter into arrangements with commercial partners as part of "cause related" marketing and sponsorship which leverages the charity's brand.

Whatever the scale or scope of your non primary purpose trading you will want to find the right balance between risk and reward and find a safe route through the legal and tax framework.

Quick Enquiry

How can we help trading charities?

We understand that you are looking for simple solutions to manage your trading activities to maximise income and minimise risk within the legal and tax framework. We can work with you to assess your current and future activities to see whether a trading subsidiary is or may be necessary.  We can also look at existing structures to see if they work for you.

Where a subsidiary is needed or you already have one in place, we can support you in managing your charity's relationship with it in accordance with charity law and best practice and the expectations of the Charity Commission. We can also work with you to ensure that your arrangements are as tax efficient as possible within HMRC's requirements, without ever losing sight of the importance of commercial agreements which are fit for purpose and protect the position of both the charity and subsidiary.

Free Charity Trading Consultation

The starting point is usually a discussion about your aims and objectives. We would be pleased to have an initial conversation with you without charge.

For specialist legal advice on charity trading, please contact Con Alexander on 0117 314 5214.

The quality of service is strong, but always balanced with a practical viewpoint. Advice is therefore not excessively legalistic and can be implemented more easily than would be possible with a more technical approach.

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Meet the team

Our charity lawyers have a broad variety of legal expertise and offer a full legal service to the charity sector.

View All
Paul Voller

Charity Law

Kathy Halliday - Partner & Employment Lawer at VWV's Birmingham Office

Employment Law

Charity Law

Restructuring & TUPE

Emma-Jane Dalley - Partner at VWV

Charity Law


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