Please click here to read OSCR’s COVID-19 Guidance for Charities

Becoming a Charity in Scotland

Thinking about becoming a charity?

There are advantages in becoming a charity, but you will need to consider whether this is the best option for your organisation. 

Meeting the charity test

Your organisation can only become a charity if it meets the charity test. To do this it must have only charitable purposes and it must provide public benefit. 

Need help to set up your charity?

As the Scottish Charity Regulator, we can offer you general guidance on the application process. We can't help you to set up your charity, as you will have your own individual circumstances. However, you can read our publications and help is available from other sources.

How to apply

This section provides general guidance on the application process.

Resume an application

If you have already started an application but not completed it, please click the link above to pick up where you left off.


The Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) is a legal form unique to Scottish charities. You can find information on the Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) and apply for status here.