Purpose of the Charities Register
Under the Charities Act 2005, this information is publicly available on the Charities Register about each registered charity:
- their name, address and registration number
- names of all past and present officers since the organisation was first registered
- a copy of its rules
- their application for registration as a charitable entity (including all accompanying information and documents)
- each Annual Return
- each change notice
The Charities Commission may restrict public access to information and documents if it considers it in the public interest to do so.
Registering with the Charities Commission is voluntary, and has no bearing on the legal status of charitable organisations. A charity that chooses not to register with the Commission can still be able to call itself a charity and solicit funds from the public.
However, a charity that chooses not to register with the Commission is not eligible for tax exempt status, and it cannot to call itself a "registered charitable entity".
To apply for registration, charitable organisations need to complete an application form and an officer certification form for each officer. A copy of the organisation's rules or governing document must accompany the application to show that the organisation is carrying out charitable purposes and activities.