Setting Up a Charity

Yuen Law Singapore law firm register charity IPC

Your causes and the resources and contributions you make to them are unique to you. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

If you intend to start a charity, Yuen Law listens intently to your motivations and advise you accordingly. We will help structure something that would free up the founders and members to do the most good, while being acceptable to regulatory bodies and complying to the organisation’s public responsibilities.

Transparency and accountability are the twin pillars of the charity sector in Singapore. A high degree of transparency and accountability is necessary for your charity to quality for the various income tax exemptions available to your entity and to your donors.

As your philanthropic mission continues to gain traction, adherence to these twin pillars will require you to register an entity to organise and interact with your philanthropic mission’s stakeholders.

Setting up a registered entity also allows you to separate fully (in some cases) your assets and affairs from that of the entity.  It also allows you to receive donations or to disburse cash in a transparent and accountable manner.

Charity Status

Registering a non-profit organisation and receiving “charity status” are two different steps and one follows the other. Depending on your particular cause, your entity may be a company limited by guarantee, a society, or a charitable trust. After the entity is successfully registered, we can then help with securing charitable status.

Once the Commissioner of Charities grants your organisation charitable status, the organisation will enjoy automatic tax exemption, a new standing and credibility, as well as momentum in fundraising.

In return, the COC requires designated charities to adhere to more stringent guidelines, including the submission of financial statements and annual reports, maintaining proper donation records, and disclosing of fundraising information to the public.

Institute of Public Character

Where applicable, we can also help secure Institutions of a Public Character (IPC) status, which is a charity whose activities benefit Singapore society as a whole, and not confined to a group of people based on race, creed or belief. Only donations to a charity that is an approved Institution of a Public Character are tax deductible.

If you are interested in setting up a non-profit entity in Singapore, we can help you with the registration as well as on-going statutory compliance matters of the entity.

Yuen Law can assist you on matters relating to setting up a charity. Please contact us using the links below.

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