Backdating registration applications

The Charities Act 2005 enables Charities Services to backdate registration to the date on which it received a properly-completed application, provided the organisation is qualified for registration at that date.

Backdating of applications

The Charities Registration Board has the power, under section 20 of the Charities Act 2005 to backdate the registration of charitable organisations.  This means that the organisation will be treated as though it was a charitable entity at a date before the actual decision to register it.  This is referred to as “the effective date of registration”.

There are two criteria we take into account when deciding whether we can backdate an application. 

  • At what date did we receive a “complete” application?
  • Was the organisation “qualified for registration” at all times during the period between the “effective date of registration”, and the date we actually registered the organisation?

The earliest date we can backdate an application to is the date we have received a complete application for an organisation that is qualified for registration.

In most cases, we will automatically backdate registration applications to the earliest date they meet the criteria for backdating.  If you do not wish your application to be backdated, please advise us of this when you apply (there is no form required for this, an email or letter with your application form is sufficient).

What is a “complete” application?

We will treat an application as “complete” when considering it for backdating, if we have received:

  1. a completed application form; and

  2. a copy of the legal rules of the organisation.

What does it mean to be “qualified for registration”?

We will treat an application as being “qualified for registration” when considering it for backdating, if the application meets the essential registration requirements in the Charities Act 2005.

If the organisation had to make amendments to its rules in order to meet essential registration requirements, we can only backdate registration to the date on which the amendments take legal effect.

If we have contacted you for further information about your organisation’s activities but changes were not required to your rules, we may still be able to backdate your application.