A group of friends who were passionate about their cause set up a Charitable Trust.  They used a Trust Deed they had found online and signed it.  They contacted a lawyer to register as a Charitable Trust Board, as they had heard this would protect them from individual liability.

Their lawyer confirmed that setting up as a Charitable Trust Board would mean they could contract as a board and would have liability as a board, rather than individually, which was what they wanted.

However when their lawyer searched the register of Charitable Trusts, they advised them that there was already a Charitable Trust Board registered with the same name as theirs.

They therefore had to change their Trust’s name, in order to be able to gain the benefits of registration as a Board.  This was very confusing for those who had already donated funds to the Trust, and embarrassing for the trustees. They also had to go to the trouble and expense of having their branding re-done.

When setting up a Charitable Trust, one of the first things you should do is check if there is already a Charitable Trust Board registered with the same name as your proposed name.  Even though not all Charitable Trusts will choose to register as a Board, many will, in time, choose to add this protection.

When you are a Not for Profit, often operating on a limited budget, you certainly don’t want to be sued by another Trust for using their name.

It is vital to obtain advice when setting up a Charitable Trust, to ensure you are aware of the potential issues that can arise.