Registering of merged charities

The Charity Commission has updated its information on when merging charities should inform the commission of their merger.

Charities should inform the commission about a merger if they want to make sure any future legacies can be transferred to their new, merged charity without it having to approve the transfer. Registering a merger is compulsory where a vesting declaration is used. In other cases, it’s voluntary.

If the charity receives or expects significant legacy income, they should consider registering the merger so that legacies and gifts can be transferred to it. Charities should take legal advice before deciding to register the merger because some wills state that the money must go to someone else if the original charity ceases to exist.

If the charity does not rely on legacy income and they feel it is never likely to receive legacies, then they only need to register the merger if a vesting declaration has been made.

If the charity receives property from another charity or charities, they are responsible for telling the commission about a merger. The charity will need to tell the commission:

  • The names of the charities involved in the merger;
  • The date of transfer of any property;
  • That arrangements have been made for the discharge of any liabilities of the transferor charity or charities; and
  • About any vesting declaration made.

For further information and to inform the commission about a charity merger via their online form visit