Your answers are automatically saved as you complete the online application. So, you can save and come back to it at any time within three months of starting it, which gives you plenty of time!
Here’s a quick checklist of things you will need:
The name of your charity
Your bank or building society details
Your most recent accounts
The names, dates of birth and contact details of your trustees
Proof of income (e.g. a recent bank statement as a scanned image)
You will also be asked to submit (upload)
A Declaration of Eligibility and Responsibility Form which you can access here:
Ask your trustees to fill in their names and signatures. There is room for up to 4 trustees to put their names on a single form. If you have more than 4 trustees, you’ll need another form.
Your governing document (as a pdf file)
More on your application
You will have chosen your governing document template by now. It’s mostly all written for you. Your job now is to:
Read it carefully
Fill in the gaps
Delete the options you don’t want (by hand).
If you are using a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) format, it is only available in a pdf document. You’ll have to convert the pdf document to a document you can fill in; type your information into the gaps; then print the document and (according to the Charity Commission) delete the options you don’t want, by hand.
Then scan the document back to your computer and upload it.
Once you’ve uploaded the required documents you can submit it all to the Charity Commission.
You should receive a response in up to 45 days. Once you’ve submitted your charity registration application, it will take the Charity Commission some time to process and review.
The common reasons for returned, unsuccessful applications are:
Answers on the online application are not provided in full
People don’t use the governance document template
The charity’s purposes are not clear enough
Charity purposes don’t seem to be for public benefit
The charity’s purposes are new or unusual and might need some further supporting information
A successful application
If the Charity Commission decides your organisation is a charity and should be registered, it will:
Add your charity on the register of charities – your charity’s register entry should appear on the public register within 48 hours of you being notified of this decision
Email your charity number to your charity’s main contact
Email each trustee, a list of online guidance relevant to their role as trustee
An unsuccessful application
The Charity Commission will confirm to you in writing the reasons your application was rejected. You can either:
Re-apply when you have addressed the reasons for rejection
Ask the Charity Commission to review its decision to reject your application
Log a complaint and appeal to the Charity Tribunal