Charities and the law

There are three bodies of charity law in the UK: Scottish charity law, English charity law which applies to English & Welsh charities only, and Northern Ireland charity law. Charity law in Scotland and in Northern Ireland extends to charities, which operate in Scotland or in Northern Ireland but which originate in other jurisdictions, including England & Wales. The regime in Northern Ireland is not fully established and the extent of its application to charities, which operate across border, is not fully clear.

Charitable companies are also required to comply with company law, which applies UK-wide. This impacts on the accounts and external scrutiny requirements of charitable companies and on the duties of charity trustees who are the directors for the purposes of company law.

All charities in the UK must be registered with HMRC to be recognised as a charity for tax purposes.


  • Charities
  • Legislation

Previous page