How to register a charity

Charities benefit from rate relief and tax benefits, are recognised by funding bodies, and can claim Gift Aid on donations. There are two ways to register your organisation as a charity:

  • Charitable company limited by guarantee
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

Charitable company limited by guarantee

This is the quickest way to get your registration started. First we’ll register your company with Companies House (which is completed within 24 hours) then you can register with the Charity Commission.

If you already have a company limited by guarantee, we can check you have the right Articles of Association so you can register as a charity with the Charity Commission. If you would like us to do this, please contact us.

Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

If you choose to register your charity in this way, you will only register with the Charity Commission and will have nothing to do with Companies House.

Charitable aims

Whichever way you register, you will need to tell Companies House and/or the Charity Commission what your aims are. You might already have a version of this written in a vision statement or constitution. For more information and examples, please see our Aims, activities and benefits page.

A charity can only be established for purely charitable purposes. For some organisations, it’s more appropriate to register as a Community Interest Company (CIC). To make sure you’re making the right choice for the activities you are planning to do, please read our article on the differences between CICs and charities.

Register a charitable company
Register a CIO
Register a CIC

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