You must register online with the Charity Commission if your charity is in England or Wales and has an income of more than £5,000 per year.

You’ll need to provide proof of the charity’s income when you register.

There’s a different process to set up a charity in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

How to register a charity

  1. Read about charities and what counts as a charitable cause so you can decide if registering as a charity is the right thing to do.

  2. Follow the Charity Commission’s guidance on registering a charity to make sure your application has the best chance of being accepted.

  3. Read the charities and public benefit guidance.

  4. Register online - you’ll need to set up an account.

Charities with incomes of less than £5,000

You don’t have to register your charity if it will bring in less than £5,000 per year.

If the charity isn’t registered with the Charity Commission you:

  • can call your organisation a ‘charity’ if it has a charitable purposes
  • can’t use phrases like ‘registered’ or ‘charity status’

Read the guidance from The Charity Commission for setting up a small charity.

You may still get tax relief as an unregistered charity. Get information about tax for charities from HM Revenue and Customs.

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