Becoming a charity guidance

Published: 30/06/2017
Updated: 15/01/2018


Read our guidance about becoming a charity and setting up a charity.


This Guide sets out the key points charities need to know about the 2005 Act. It is not a detailed guide to all the requirements of charity law. Throughout the Guide there are links to specific guidance on our website and details of other organisations that can give help and advice to charities. 

Being a Charity in Scotland


This leaflet provides useful advice to those organisations considering applying for charitable status.

Becoming a Charity in Scotland


Comprehensive guidance on the charity test. To be a Scottish charity or a charity registered in Scotland your organisation must pass the charity test. 


Meeting The Charity Test: Guidance


Key characteristics of the common legal forms for charities.

Key Characteristics of Legal Forms


The guidance addresses areas of interest to charities registered in England and Wales which, because they have activities in Scotland, may have obligations under the new Scottish legislation.

Seeking Charitable Status in Scotland PDF


This note outlines some of the issues with governing documents established under English law and OSCR’s position on these issues.

Cross Border Constitution Briefing


Read OSCR's and HMRC's (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) joint statement defining the phrase charitable purpose" or the word "charitable" in the constitutions of Scottish Charities.
Joint statement from OSCR & HMRC PDF

From 1 January 2018 Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIOs) and Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) will appear in the Registrar’s Index of Company Names, which is maintained by Companies House. Charities that are companies already appear on the index. See our FAQs below for more information. 

FAQs: SCIOs on the Index of Company Names
Being a Charity in Scotland >