Joining the Company
There are two stages to membership. For almost all new members, entry is gained by way of 'Redemption', for which the initial step is to become a Freeman of the Company, using a form obtained from the Clerk or via download below. Freedom of the Company is open only to members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (including reciprocal members).
An application to become a Freeman is normally supported by two Liverymen of the Company although applications made without a proposer or seconder will be considered. The applicant is interviewed by two members of the Court before being considered by a ballot taken by members of the Court of Assistants. Having been elected in the ballot and having paid the 'fine' (i.e. the entry fees) and the annual quarterage, one becomes a freeman of the Company. A Company Freeman may then apply to become a Freeman of the City of London - normally this is straightforward and only takes a few weeks.
The second stage of membership is to become a Liveryman. The Livery is limited by the Court of Aldermen to 350 people and is open to any Freeman of the Company who is a Freeman of the City, at the invitation of the Court.
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Becoming a Liveryman is evidenced by the clothing ceremony, when a member takes the oath and is traditionally 'clothed' with the Livery of the Company. He or she is then introduced to the Master, Wardens, and the members of the Court before being welcomed at a Livery dinner.
Given that there are more than 130,000 Chartered Accountants who are eligible to apply, admission to the Freedom and the Livery of our Company is a privilege not easily granted.
The annual quarterage payable by a Freeman and a Liveryman is the same. All our events are open to all Freemen, whether or not Liverymen. All male Freemen and Liverymen are encouraged to wear the Company's maroon Livery uniform jacket at black tie events. The differences between a Liveryman and a Freeman are that only a Liveryman can become a Court Assistant or vote at the Company's annual general meeting or vote in the Common Hall of the City of London at Guildhall, where the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs are elected.
Membership by Patrimony
Occasionally a Freeman is admitted by patrimony. This is available to a son or a daughter of a Freeman of the Company and of the City of London who is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and who was born when the Freeman parent had already received the Freedom of the City.
A copy of the latest application form and accompanying notes can be found below.