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Registered Charities

The name of your organisation

To be registered under the Charities Act 2005, your charity's name must meet the requirements of the Act.

The first question asked on the application form for registration under the Charities Act 2005 is "what is the full legal name of your entity?"

Some organisations use several names, so we ask you to tell us your "legal name" and we check that against the Act's requirements.

When we receive your application we check your legal name against the Companies Office registers and our own Charities Register. The Charities Act says that names of organisations incorporated under the:

or established or constituted by another Act, comply with section 15 of the Charities Act, so we do not review these names for offensive or misleading criteria.

Therefore, we review the names of all applicants not incorporated as described above, to make sure we are satisfied that, in terms of the Commission's policy, they are not offensive or liable to mislead the public.

If you are registered with the Companies Office as an incorporated society, incorporated charitable trust board (also known as a registered charitable trust) or a company, your legal name is the name you are incorporated under. This is the name you should use in answer to the first question when you apply to us for registration.

If you are established by name under an Act of Parliament you should use that name.

If none of the above apply to you, then use the name:

It is important to include words like "The", "Te", "Trust", "NZ", or "New Zealand" if they are part of your name.

Only include the word "Incorporated" if it is part of your legal name. Your organisation may have been incorporated under an Act but the word "Incorporated" may not necessarily be part of your legal name. Usually, but not always, it will be the last word of your name if you are incorporated under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.

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The Charities Register will show your organisation's full legal name (the name under which you are registered). This is the name that will be displayed by the Register search function. If you provided another name by which you are commonly known, it will be shown on your Application Record (which is included in your organisation's entry on the Charities Register).

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What criteria do we use to decide whether a name is offensive or misleading?

We use a similar approach to the Registrar of Companies. A name may be considered offensive or misleading if it is:

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