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Making changes to your charity

Published: 20/11/2018
Updated: 20/11/2018


Download the pdf version of Making Changes to your charity


If you want to make any changes to your charity, first check what (if any) rules are set out:

a)    in your governing document and/or
b)    by your charity’s legal form.

If there are rules in your governing document for making the change then you must follow them.

Basic process if OSCR gives consent
Depending on what the change is the process for consent can be slightly different. The pages on changing name, purposes and winding up contain more detail. 

Consents basic process



Other processes you need to contact OSCR about before making any changes:


You must ask for our consent 42 days before you plan to make the change. 


1. Notifying OSCR about changes you have been given consent for

You must notify us once you have made the changes that need our consent (listed above). At the time we give consent we will set out the evidence you need to send us and the timescales for doing so. 

2. Notifying OSCR about changes that don't need consent

You need to notify OSCR within three months of making any of these changes:

  • changes to your charity's principal office or the name, or address of the charity trustee specified in the Scottish Charity Register if there is no office – you can notify us by updating OSCR Online

  • changes to other details set out in your charity's Register entry – you can notify us by updating some of these details in OSCR Online 

  • changes to your charity's governing document (other than changes to your charity's name or purposes):

      - Non-SCIOs: you can use the Notification of Changes Made Form to inform us of these changes or email us at

      - SCIOs: for changes to a SCIO constitution you should send us:

    A. the Notification of Changes Made Form
    B. a copy of the resolution of the SCIO’s members agreeing to the change. You can use our resolution template for this.
    C. a copy of the updated constitution
  • any action taken to amalgamate, or wind up, or dissolve your charity, or if there is an application to court to do so (once you have had OSCR’s consent). 

You can use the Notification of Changes Made Form to inform us of these changes or email us at

Notify us within one month (changes that don't require our consent)
Charities must advise us of the following changes within one month of the change taking place: 

  • any administration order or an order for winding up made by the court in respect of a charity
  • the appointment of a receiver.                                     

If your charity is part of a group structure or has a parent charity it may need their permission before it can make certain changes. 

Your charity may also need to follow the requirements of other regulators, such as: 

What happens if you don’t follow these rules?
For example you fail to: 

  • ask for our consent
  • notify us of any changes
  • ask for our consent 42 days before the change is planned 

If you fail to comply with these rules, this is a breach of charity trustee duties and we do have powers to take action against charity trustees, where appropriate. Any action taken will be in line with our Inquiry Policy

The most common changes to a charity are: