How to Register a Charity in the UK


If you’re planning to register a charity in the United Kingdom (UK), you’ll need to have already created a charity. In the UK, you’re legally required to register organizations that have been registered as a charitable incorporated organization (CIO). The process of registering a charity may seem complex and daunting, but don’t worry. It’s not too complicated, and the benefits are substantial. Primarily, once you’ve registered your charity, you’ll be able to receive charity organization tax breaks.

Part 1
Readying Your Finances and Trustees

Readying Your Finances and Trustees on How to Register a Charity in the UK

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You may have already done this as part of creating the charity in the first place. But, without a bank account, you’ll be unable to register the charity with the UK government. Make sure that the account is in the name of the charity itself, not your own name.[1] The type of bank at which you create the account doesn’t matter.

Readying Your Finances and Trustees on How to Register a Charity in the UK

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This is the minimum amount of funds that the UK requires charities have prior to registration. If you cannot deposit the money, continue raising financial support until you have adequate funds.[2] Once your charity has been established and registered, it must maintain an annual income of at least to maintain its registration status.

Readying Your Finances and Trustees on How to Register a Charity in the UK

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The primary reason that charity registration requests are automatically disqualified is due to trustees being unfit to work with children or vulnerable people.[3] If your chosen trustees aren’t eligible to serve, replace them with other people. Talk with your trustees and confirm that none of them have been: Placed on a sex offender registry Charged with bribery or money laundering Charged with bankruptcy Arrested on the basis of suspected terrorist activities Removed as a trustee from another charity

Readying Your Finances and Trustees on How to Register a Charity in the UK

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The technical name for this form is the “declaration of eligibility and responsibility” form. Trustees will need to write their name, dates of trusteeship, and to agree to certain legal claims regarding their fitness for the office.[4] Note that up to 4 trustees can put their names on a single form. If you have more than 4 trustees, they’ll need to complete 2 forms. The trustee form can be accessed online at: .

Part 2
Completing and Submitting the Application Form

Completing and Submitting the Application Form on How to Register a Charity in the UK

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The UK Charity Commission requires that all charities register with a standardized form. Once you’ve begun the form, it will save online automatically. Beginning on the day you start the application, you’ll have 3 months to complete and submit the form. If you delay and take longer than 3 months, the data you’ve stored in the form will be erased.[5] Find the application form online at: . If you speak Welsh, access the Welsh language form at: .

Completing and Submitting the Application Form on How to Register a Charity in the UK

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The government of Northern Ireland requires a separate form than do the governments of Wales and England. Fortunately, the forms themselves require similar information. This applies even if you reside in England or Wales but the charity itself is located in Northern Ireland.[6] Find the Northern Irish charity registration application form online at: .

Completing and Submitting the Application Form on How to Register a Charity in the UK

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Like Northern Ireland, the Scottish government requires a separate form for applications to register a charity. Unlike the UK form for England and Wales, this form is a PDF and will not save your information online. So, download a copy and fill it out in blank ink pen.[7] Download the Scottish charitable organization registration form at: .

Part 3
Submitting Your Charity Registration

Submitting Your Charity Registration on How to Register a Charity in the UK

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Once you’ve input the necessary information onto the form, save and submit the paperwork. Along with the application, submit a scanned PDF of your trustees’ completed paperwork. Also include a digital copy of your charity’s governing document or general statement of intent.[8] Once you’ve uploaded the required documents, hit “submit” (or a similar button) to finalize the application and send it to the Commission.

Submitting Your Charity Registration on How to Register a Charity in the UK

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Like the English and Welsh application, the Northern Irish application must be submitted online. Once you’ve completed the online portion of the application, upload a PDF of your trustee declaration forms. Submit both of these documents together as the website directs. Also include a scanned copy of your charity’s statement of purpose and budgetary information, if available.[9] If you experience any difficulties when submitting the Northern Irish charity registration form, contact their help service at: [email protected]

Submitting Your Charity Registration on How to Register a Charity in the UK

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Along with a printed and filled-out version of the Scottish form, the Scottish government requires a few other documents. The primary document is a completed trustee form. Additionally, include: a copy of your charity’s governing document or statement of purpose, and a statement of the charity’s business plan or funding application.[10] Mail the application to: The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), 2nd Floor, Quadrant House, 9 Riverside Drive, Dundee, DD1 4NY.

Submitting Your Charity Registration on How to Register a Charity in the UK

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Once you’ve submitted the charity registration application, it will take the Charity Commission some time to process and review the application. The Commission will be in touch within 1 month to inform you whether your charity’s registration application has been accepted or denied. Once you hear back in the affirmative, your charity will be officially registered![11] If it’s been longer than 30 days and you haven’t heard back, reach out to the Charity Commission through their website. Since it’s handled through the postal service, the Scottish government may take up to 90 days to inform you about your charity’s status.[12]