Becoming a Charity in Scotland

Is being a charity right for my organisation?

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. 

Points to consider when setting up a charity

If you would like your organisation to become a charity, there are a number of important points you should consider before applying.  We set them out in this section. 

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.

More information can be found in our Becoming a Charity leaflet

How to apply

This section provides general guidance on the application process.


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.