Displaying the Name of your Corporate Charity (Company

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Charities Guidance Note
Displaying the name of your corporate charity (company or CIO)
There are rules on how a corporate name must be displayed. It is important to get it right as
trustees, officials and others who fail to comply may be fined. Here are the main points:
Where must I display my charity’s name?
You must display a sign with your charity’s actual legal (i.e. registered) name:
 at its registered office or any other place where it says its records can be inspected
 wherever it carries on its business (unless primarily used as a residence)
The sign must be readable with the naked eye and displayed so that visitors to that office or place of
business may easily see it.
Must I show the charity’s name in communications?
Whether or not you use a trading name or abbreviation, you must include your charity's legal name in
all business correspondence and documentation, whether in hard copy or electronic form, including:
 letters (including emails), websites, notices and other official publications
 cheques (also bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements and order forms)
 orders for money, goods or services
 bills of parcels, invoices, other demands for payment, receipts and letters of credit
 conveyances (i.e. transfers or releases of an interest in land)
What other information must be disclosed in those communications?
 the country of registration and the registered office address
 the registered company (or CIO) number
 the fact that it is a limited company or CIO, if its legal name does not say so
What if your name does not include the word “charity”?
The fact that the company or CIO is a charity must be stated in legible characters in all the places and
communications mentioned above. This is in addition to the general requirement for most registered
charities to show their registered charity status when expressly or impliedly ‘soliciting’ funds. A
company need not display its charity number, but a CIO will do so as that is also its corporate number.
Can abbreviations be used?
Because these requirements leave little room on your cheque book for the charity name, banks will
usually agree to an abbreviation such as “Reg’d ch’ty, co. ltd. by gtee” or similar. A charitable
incorporated organisation can put ‘CIO’ in upper or lower case.
Further advice
Please contact one of our specialists Richard King or Amy Laver at:
Broadwalk House, Southernhay West, Exeter EX1 1UA
Call: 01392 207020 or email: [email protected]
This review aims to promote an awareness of recent changes in the field of charity law. It is not intended to
constitute advice but every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication.
However no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy.
Always seek our specific advice. Tozers is the trading name of Tozers LLP, a limited liability partnership.