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What makes an organisation a charity in law?

Firstly, it must be set up for purposes which are recognised as charitable.  There is no legal definition but there are types of charitable purposes recognised in the 2011 Charities Act and in case law. Secondly, and equally importantly, the charity must be for the public benefit and continue to operate in the public benefit.  This is particularly a point to consider if there is a narrow group of people benefitting from the charity or where the charity is looking to charge for its services, to ensure that the application does not prevent the charity from operating in the public benefit.

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