Changing a charity's name or Governing Document

This section answers common questions about how to make changes to a charity's details or rules, and where you need our approval. It provides links to our guidance and online forms where you need to contact us.


How do I change my charity’s name?

The online Register of Charities makes information about your charity publicly available. There are lots of reasons why people might want to see this information, but often it’s because they are thinking about giving money or time and want to check that your charity is genuine.

This means it’s really important that the Register has every name which your charity’s known by – if people can’t find your charity they may be less likely to give. You should make sure that we have the main name of your charity correct, as well as any other names by which it’s known locally (also called ‘working names’).

If you want to change your charity’s main name you should:

  • Check your charity’s Governing Document to make sure it allows you to change its name.
  • Check that there aren’t any other charities with similar names by searching the Register of Charities. You should also try to make the name as unique and specific as possible – for example ‘Loughborough Village Hall’ rather than ‘The Village Hall’.
  • If your charity is also a company you should notify Companies House who will issue you with a certificate of change of name.

Once you have decided on a change of name you simply need to email us with details and with a copy of the minutes of the meeting at which the new name was approved. If your charity is also a company you should attach a copy of the certificate of change of name to your email. If your charity is also a trust you may need to check with your legal advisor to decide if a supplemental deed is required and if so this should also be uploaded and sent with your email.

Top of page


How do I change my charity’s Governing Document?

A governing document is the formal document which sets up a charity. It usually sets out:

  • what the charity’s aims are and how it will meet these aims (‘objects’ and ‘powers’);
  • who will run it and how it will be run (‘trustees’ and ‘administrative provisions’);
  • what happens if changes need to be made (‘amendment provision’); and
  • what happens if the charity wishes to wind up (‘dissolution provision’).

Other useful information about Governing Documents can be found in our guidance Choosing and preparing a Governing Document (CC22)

Sometimes trustees need to change their charity’s Governing Document to make sure it continues to be able to operate effectively. In some cases the Charity Commission needs to approve such changes but in other cases amendment provisions give trustees the power to make changes themselves. However, in all cases we need to be informed of the changes being made.

If you’re thinking of changing your charity’s Governing Document you should first read our guidance Changing your charity’s governing document (CC36)

This guidance explains what you need to do, according to:

  • the type of your charity;
  • the nature of the changes you want to make; and
  • what it says in your charity’s Governing Document.

Top of page


 

Do I need Charity Commission approval?

You will need to contact us if you want to change your objects, dissolution clause or add or amend clauses providing benefits to trustees or members. There are other types of change for which you may require our consent - these are set out in our guidance Changing your charity’s governing document (CC36).

Once you’ve established what you need to do, choose the appropriate option below. This will open forms designed to help you provide the necessary information.

For non-company charities:  

Type of changes
Form
What else do I need to send?
Further guidance

We have made changes which didn’t need approval

CSD1342B

A revised copy of your Governing Document

CSD1342A

We have made changes which had already been approved by the Charity Commission

CSD1342B

A revised copy of your Governing Document

CSD1342A

We want to make changes which require Charity Commission approval

CSD1342C

 

CSD 1342A

Our annual income is under £10,000. We want to make changes but have no power to do so.

CSD1346B CSD1346A

Our annual income is over £10,000. We want to make changes but have no power to do so.

CSD1342D CSD1342A
We want to change our charity's name CSD1342B CSD1342A

 
For charities which are also companies:

Type of changes
Form
What else do I need to send?
Further guidance
We have made changes which didn't need approval CSD1388B

A revised copy of your Governing Document

CSD1388A

We have made changes which had already been approved by the Charity Commission

CSD1388B A revised copy of your Governing Document CSD1388A

We have a power of amendment that states we need your approval

CSD1388B CSD1388A
We want to change our charity's name CSD1388B A copy of your Certificate of Change of Name from Companies House CSD1388A

Top of page

© Crown Copyright

© 2010 Crown Copyright          Copyright Notice, Disclaimer and Privacy Statement