Small groups, especially when they are starting out, need to sort out the Governance fairly early on.

If you are thinking of charitable status the best place to go is the Charity Commission website. There's little point in repeating all this on our own site, and things do change from time to time.  We have produced some simple guidance on governance.

An alternative is to consider Community Interest Comany status. Any charity must benefit the public, and any CIC must benefit the community so in that respect they are simlar but in a few key areas they are quite different:

Control - a charity has trustees, usually not paid; a CIC is controlled by the directors who may well be paid
Tax - in most circumstances charities wonlt pay corpooration tax, CIC's are liable to tax on trading profits (but not on unspent grants received for a particualr purpose)
Fundraising and gift aid - mush easier for a charity (usually)

The brief guides below should help.

Setting up a small charitable group - first steps

Community Interest Company status