We will use your completed forms and supporting documents to assess your application against the charity test which forms part of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 (the 2005 Act). Our Meeting the Charity Test full guidance and the Being a Charity in Scotland guidance provide further information on the charity test.
In summary, to pass the charity test your organisation must meet the following requirements.
1. It must have only charitable purposes. The purposes are found in your constitution or governing document and state what your organisation has been set up to achieve. When assessing your application, we will look to see that your purposes can be linked to those set out in the 2005 Act.
2. Its activities must provide, or be intended to provide, public benefit in Scotland or elsewhere. We will look at what your organisation does or plans to do to achieve your purposes. You must be able to show that in carrying out your activities you will make a positive difference to the public in the ways suggested by your purposes. Charities can provide public benefit in many different ways and in differing amounts. It is important that your application clearly tells us what you intend to do to achieve your purposes. Without this we can't assess whether your organisation will provide public benefit.
3. Your constitution or governing document must meet the requirements of the 2005 Act. We will check to make sure that:
- Your organisation's property cannot be used for non-charitable purposes.
- Ministers are not in control of, or are able to direct, your activities.
- Your organisation is not a political party or that its purpose is not the advancement of a political party.
If you are applying to become a SCIO there are further requirements you must meet in addition to the charity test. More information on these requirements is available from our publication SCIOs: A Guide.