Some charities are 'excepted' or 'exempt' from registering with us.
'Excepted' charities don't have to register but are regulated by us. This means that we can require them to provide us with information about their activities and investigate them if we consider that there is cause for concern. They are called excepted charities because they have been excepted from the requirement to register with us, either by legislation or an order made by us. Most of these charities are:
- churches and chapels of some Christian denominations (and funds connected with them)
- charitable service funds of the armed forces
- Scout and Guide groups
Charities outside these categories are unlikely to be excepted.
'Exempt' charities cannot register with us, and we are not their regulator because they are supervised by another regulator. Most exempt charities are listed in Schedule 3 to the Charities Act 2011, but some charities are made exempt by other acts. Exempt charities currently include:
- most universities in England
- charities set up as Industrial and Provident Societies
- many national museums and galleries
- the governing bodies of voluntary and foundation schools
To find out more about exempt charities see Exempt charities (CC23).
Charity Commission position on Industrial and Provident Societies and the payment of interest on equity capital
Changes to excepted and exempt charities under the Charities Act 2006
The Charities Act 2006 (now the Charities Act 2011) created a fairer and simpler system with similar regulation for all charities. The key principles of the new system are that:
- charities can only be 'excepted' if their income is below £100,000 a year - charities whose income is more than £100,000 lose their exception and have to register (this income threshold may be reduced over time)
- exempt charities must either:
- have a 'principal regulator' to regulate them as charities; or
- no longer be exempt and have the Commission as regulator.
Changes to the Regulation of Excepted and Exempt Charities - explains how Government is making the changes, and how they work.
More information on other Types of charities that do not have to register