Charitable purpose and your rules

‘Rules’ are the documents that set out your purposes, what you do and how you operate.  For example, they may be your trust deed, constitution or charter. When you apply for registration, we read your rules and consider your activities to identify whether you have a ‘charitable purpose’.

To be considered for registration as a charitable organisation, you must send us a copy of your signed rules, including any amendments, with your application form.

While we don’t require any specific wording in your rules, we must be satisfied that your organisation:

  • has a legal name that is not misleading or offensive
  • has exclusively charitable purposes that fall within one of the four purposes set out in section 5(1) of the Charities Act 2005 and which provide a public benefit
  • is not for the private benefit or profit of an individual
  • restricts distributions on winding up, so they only go to charitable purposes
  • is a trust, society or institution (i.e. one person acting in their personal capacity cannot be a Registered Charity).

You can find more information about rules and examples of wording in the Rules and the Charities Act 2005 section of our website.