New process for charity registrations

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If you’re thinking about registering for charity status, the Charity Commission has introduced some important changes to their online registration service and the way they handle data. It is quite detailed so we’ve tried to break down the key elements for you here.

These changes include what information is displayed to the public on the charity register and the data the Commission collect from applicants and registered charities.

Charities which are already registered will need to check and update their details before they can submit an annual return.

Changes to trustee details and display name

Applicants will now need to provide the following information for each trustee when applying to register a charity:

  • Full legal name – for example, the name that appears on a passport or driving licence. For an organisation this would be the name used to secure a bank account or loan. For successful applications this information will be displayed to the public on the charity register.
  • Personal email address or confirmation that the individual does not have one. This will not be displayed on the charity register.
  • Telephone number – this will not be displayed on the charity register.

Where an individual is a trustee of more than one registered charity, and the Commission does not have an email address or telephone number for them, this information will be automatically updated with the details provided in the application.  Please note, this update will only happen at the point of registration (for successful applications) and where the Commission can exactly match the named individuals.

The existing ‘display name’ option (which is available in the application form and on the public register) will be removed. If current trustees have used the display name feature, this will be removed on the 1 April 2019 and their legal name will show to the public. Please see ‘dispensations’ below if you wish for that trustees’ legal name to remain withheld.

The Commission will use trustee email addresses to tell them about changes other people make to their record(s).

Changes to named individuals for registered charities

The contact for a registered charity will now have to be a named individual. You will need to provide personal details for them in the ‘organisation contact – Commission use only’ section of your application form.

The Commission will no longer accept corporate bodies as the main contact for a registered charity. But the Commission will continue to allow a named individual employed by a local authority or legal practice to fulfil this role.

The name of the contact will no longer be displayed to the public on the charity register. It will only be used by the Commission if they need to contact your charity (if registered).

The Commission will be separating the public address details for the registered charity from those of the named contact for the charity. The organisation’s public address will appear on the public register if it is successfully registered as a charity.

Withholding trustee names

The Commission have recognised that some registered charities need the names of all trustees linked to their charity to be withheld from the public register.

In support of this they will be allowing applications for a blanket dispensation for all the trustees of the application involved. If trustees have already been granted a dispensation for their legal name not to be displayed to the public on the register, this will be retained and there will be no need to apply for a dispensation again. Where this is not needed for every trustee you can still apply for names of individual trustees to be withheld.

Next steps

Please check through your unsubmitted application(s) to ensure you have completed all data fields before you submit. You will be prompted at submission if any data is missing.

Any applications submitted to the Commission before 12 November will also be affected by these changes if the application is successfully registered.

Visit gov.uk for further information or, if you have any queries about the matters discussed, please contact your dedicated team:

County FAs
Call 08448 240 432 or [email protected]

Chartered Standard Clubs
Call 0191 211 7799 or email [email protected]