English & Welsh Charities

Find out about English and Welsh Charities

Under the 2005 Act, all organisations which represent themselves as charities in Scotland must register with OSCR. This includes bodies that are established and/or registered as charities in other legal jurisdictions, such as England and Wales.

The 2005 Act provides some exceptions where a cross-border charity represents itself as a charity but does not have substantive activity in Scotland. You can read about these exceptions in our:

Where the exceptions do not apply, such bodies need to apply for charitable status in Scotland. Bodies established in England and Wales can apply to us for cross-border charitable status by completing and returning the application form and trustee declaration form (We recommend that you 'Save As...' to your hard drive before completing the forms). As part of the application process, we also encourage English and Welsh charities to read our guidance, Cross-border charity regulation in Scotland.*

Bodies established outside Scotland which gain charitable status here (and their charity trustees) will incur the same obligations and duties as other charities in the Scottish Charity Register. 

Some parts of this guidance need to be updated, this will be done in early 2018. Please see our Fundraising page for more information on the current self-regulation system. 


Can a charity registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales become a SCIO?

If your charity is unincorporated and registered both with us and the Charity Commission for England and Wales ('cross-border charities'), you may wish to incorporate by becoming a SCIO.  

However, while this is possible, it would result in your charity ending its registration with the Charity Commission and being regulated solely by us. This is because SCIOs are established under Scots law, and so do not fall within the Charity Commission's jurisdiction. 

You should first apply to us to incorporate a new SCIO. If that application is successful, you should then apply to dissolve the unincorporated cross-border charity and transfer its assets to the SCIO. Once the Charity Commission has received confirmation that the unincorporated charity has been dissolved and its assets transferred to the SCIO, it will remove the unincorporated charity from its charity register.

It is also possible for a charity registered in England and Wales to adopt a similar legal form to that of the SCIO, the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). A CIO can register with both the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and with us.