The Honourable Artillery Company (The Company) was incorporated by a Royal Charter of Henry VIII on 25 August 1537. The Charter describes its objects as being "for the better defence of this realm and maintenance of the science of artillery." The Company was registered as a charity in 1964 (Charity No: 208443) “for military exercise and training and for the better defence of the realm”. The trustees, Assistants, have a legal duty to manage the charity prudently and for the public benefit.
By an Order in Council made under s29 of the Territorial and Reserves Forces Act 1907, the active element within the Company became a Regiment of the Territorial Army (since 2016 the Army Reserve), also known as the Honourable Artillery Company. The Ministry of Defence is entirely responsible for training, equipping and housing (through the Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Associations) the HAC Regiment, though much of the Company’s charitable funding goes to supporting the Regiment in areas where public money is scarce or non-existent.
The membership encompasses many activities and interests. Apart from those still on the active list, members have formed two veteran ceremonial sub-units and several sports clubs and societies. None of these are a legal entity, separate from the Company and the Company remains vicariously responsible for their activities.