A private treaty sale is a highly specialised form of sale for items of pre-eminent quality. Objects of national, scientific, historic or artistic interest may qualify provided that technical tax rules are met.

Unlike a sale on the open market, a private treaty sale is conducted privately between a willing seller and an approved institution such as a museum, library or university. The effect of the private treaty is to allow the purchaser to obtain a valuable item at less than its full market value, while the seller is able to benefit from tax exemptions designed by the government to encourage the sale to proceed. The aim is to help sellers and purchasing institutions to keep important items within the UK for the benefit of the wider public.

Private treaty sales require careful specialist handling and involve a great deal of detailed negotiation with HM Revenue & Customs and the intended purchasing institution. Speak to a member of our Charities Legal Team for further information on this complex form of charitable giving.