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Basic questions about NPOs

Posted on 4 August 2008 at 2:02 pm
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  • Anonymous
    4 August 2008 at 2:02 pm #3184


    newbie here doing some research…

    I’m in the process of setting up what I intend to be an ‘NPO’ – non-profit organisation, that is. However, there are several matters concerning the operation of this sort of organisation in the UK that I am unclear about.

    So, questions:

    1. What does a limited company, for instance, have to do to be an NPO? Anything? Is it a legal term? Is the government interested or do they only recognise commercial organisations and charity organisations?

    2. Is it possible to get tax breaks as an NPO rather than a charity?

    3. What, in your views, is the advantage of being an NPO over being a charity, once you are registered as such?

    Those are my main queries. Basically I’m intending to operate as a private company in most ways except that all the ‘profit’ will be reinvested in the company and in raising awareness of its aims (which you may consider educational). I would draw a small salary for my time, as would any other employees (all details of which would be published online).

    Would this be feasible and reasonable? Finding exact information about NPOs operation in UK seems surprisingly difficult.

    Many thanks for your time.

    4 August 2008 at 9:17 pm #10603

    Hi, Sam

    Your post has raised quite a lot of questions – you may need to be rather more specific to get specific advice from us – questions like why are you looking at this model; where is your income coming from; where have you looked for advice?

    Companies House and the Charity Commission have reams of advice on their websites, and I’d recommend looking carefully at these. Also have a look at Community Interest Companies (CIC) which have their own register.

    If you don’t get the info you need from those, come back to the list, or direct to me, if you like (via our website) and I’ll see if I can assist.



    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC

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