Why join?

With a history going back around 700 years, The Royal Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh is one of Scotland's largest, most respected, charitable organisations. Each year we improve the lives of thousands of people through philanthropy, providing a wide range of educational and social opportunities for business leaders.

In joining, you can be part of this remarkable story.

Today, over 500 businesspeople are Members of the Company, actively involved at the heart of the city in educational and charitable works, as well as continuing to hold a central role in the civic life of Edinburgh.

The Company is also Scotland’s most pre-eminent livery company. Our headquarters, the beautiful Merchants’ Hall, is one of Edinburgh’s hidden jewels, and is available to hire as a unique venue. In becoming a member, you can enjoy any - and all - of these facets of Company membership.

Who can join?

The Company will admit people into its Membership provided that a person works in or has run their own business within the City of Edinburgh or within twenty miles from General Register House Edinburgh, or who lives at the time of his/her election within Edinburgh or within 20 miles of General Register House Edinburgh. Most members are active in business, either as owners and managers of small/medium sized enterprises or as senior managers of larger companies.

Alternatively business people under the age of 35, who aspire to be owners and managers of small/medium sized enterprises or as senior managers of larger companies by the age of 35, can join us as Associates.

Ready to join our membership?

Member application

Register to become a Member

Associate application

Register to become an Associate

How would you benefit?

  • The Royal Company of Merchants is actively involved at the heart of the City in educational and charitable works.
  • The Company is the foremost and most prestigious business organisation in the City and is also Scotland’s pre-eminent livery company.
  • The Company provides an environment for like-minded businesspeople to meet informally at business and social events.
  • Meetings provide an excellent opportunity for networking with senior businesspeople across a broad spectrum of industries and professions.
  • Attendance at business meetings and seminars enables professional as well as personal development.
  • The Company is noted for being a friendly organisation.

How can you be involved in the Company?

Use and Develop Skills on Committees

Vacancies on our boards and committees are advertised to all members, and in some cases to our associates, who can apply if they believe their skills match those being looked for at that time.

Attend Company Meetings

The Company holds four business meetings a year, including the Annual General Meeting in November.

Company Meetings are held in The Merchants’ Hall and include either a buffet lunch or a drinks reception afterwards depending upon the timing of the meeting. Associates are able to attend these meeting, but do not have voting rights.

Attend Social & Business Events

There are informal meetings such as business breakfasts, social events, visits to places of interest not normally available to the public, and presentations by guest speakers on business, educational and community matters. A number of formal dinners and receptions take place during the year.

Join our Clubs

The Company has a Golf Club, a Shooting Club and a Walking Club. Apart from the ‘sporting activities’, the Golf and Shooting Clubs enjoy regular competitions and Annual Dinners.

Mentoring and Supporting

Our Education Liaison Committee provides mock interviews, talks and presentations in the Company schools, while our Enterprise Committee provides mentors who advise young people who are starting businesses. Members and Associates can take part in these activities, even if they are not on these committees.

Involvement in the Company’s Charitable Activities

Members can support the Charity Committee by arranging fundraising events, providing help and supporting the work of the Almoner in the community. Opportunities exist to work with smaller charities and link with groups within our community, providing members with the opportunity of becoming Trustees in charities that align with their interests and expertise.

Interested in joining but require more information?

We hold regular events where those interested in being a part of the Merchant Company can find out more information and meet some of our current members. To register for our next prospective member event sign up here. 

The Stock of Broom

Although the precise reason has been lost in the mists of time, the Stock of Broom has long been the emblem of the Company.

Broom represents sturdy roots, vigorous growth and fullness of flowering. Our parting toast links the past with the present by reminding us of the activities over the centuries of members who have devoted unstinting time to educational and charitable works.


A professional and business networking and development opportunity.


An opportunity to give something back to the community by participating in our various charities and charitable activities.


An enjoyable, social opportunity to have fun and make new friends.


A personal development opportunity. (eg. Committee experience, school governorships, pro bono work etc).  


Be part of a prestigious and historic organisation which has been prominent in Edinburgh for around 700 years.