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Registering as a charity

All Scout Units are independent charities. However, those based in England and Wales may not be required to register with the Charity Commission, as they've been ‘excepted’ by a ruling of the Charity Commission .

The Charity Commission, in their most recent guidance, have confirmed that Scout Units only have to register if:

  • their income is more than £100,000, or
  • they've permanent endowment (a rare interest in land/building or other assets which cannot be spent as ‘income’) and their income is £5,000 or over; or
  • they own land or buildings and their income is £5,000 or over

However, it's important to note that even excepted and unregistered charities still remain subject to general charity law and the rules of the Charity Commission, which may investigate matters where there's proper cause for concern.

It's important to note that the above exception only applies to Scout Units based in England and Wales.

Those based in Northern Ireland and Scotland are subject to compulsory registration with their own charity regulation bodies.

For further information please see The Charity Commission of Northern Ireland and The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, which provide information about charities in Northern Ireland and Scotland, respectively .

Charity numbers

If your Scout Unit is one of those excepted from registration you cannot use or cite the District, County or The Scout Association's charity number as your own.

If you're having trouble convincing someone of your charitable status (a bank, for example) we may be able to provide you with a letter of confirmation to assist. Get in touch with our the Legal Services department for more information.

Where groups have registered with HMRC for Gift Aid purposes and have been issued with a unique HMRC number. This can be used when applying to online fundraising sites, such as JustGiving, VirginMoneyGiving and so on.

Further information

The Charity Commission is a valuable source of information.

Registration forms

Scouts have a registration system for the creation of new Groups or Districts.

Download the forms