Most Baptist churches, founded many years ago, are currently constituted as unincorporated voluntary associations (UVAs) which means they do not have a separate legal entity but all transactions etc are carried out by the Trustees or Office Bearers in the name of the Church. Many Churches are contemplating changing to an Incorporated structure instead.
Most churches consider incorporation for two main reasons:
The form of incorporation we are contemplating at Leslie is a SCOTTISH CHARITABLE INCORPORATED ORGANISATION (“SCIO”). Introduced in 2011, this still relatively new SCIO format allows charities to be incorporated, but to be regulated by a single body, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (“OSCR”). The advantage of this form for local churches is that it provides the identity and protection described above, while maintaining the relative simplicity of dealing only with OSCR. The adbice from the Baptist Union of Scotland is
"Therefore, while each church must reach its own conclusions and take its own legal and other advice required, this may well be the most appropriate structure for the vast majority of Baptist churches in Scotland"
We have collected together a list of some relevant documents for you to consider:-