UK Charities Acts

Not all sports organisations are registered charities, but those who are in England in Wales are subject to the . The key aim of this Act was to simplify and clarify the law. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator in England and Wales, responsible for registering and regulating charities in those jurisdictions. There are separate regulators of charities in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Charities are organisations established with purposes that are exclusively charitable; these must be set out in the objects clause of the governing document. These objects must fall under one of the Charities Act’s charitable purposes, and ‘the advancement of amateur sport’ is listed as a charitable purpose. To achieve and maintain charitable status, sports bodies must demonstrate how their purposes benefit the public. The objects are contained in the organisation’s articles and must also be reflected in any strategy or business plan.

All charitable organisations registered under charity law in England and Wales must publicise their charitable status on all written material. This is to ensure that anyone supporting it knows that it is properly regulated and that any money donated will be correctly used as per the stated objectives of the charity.

If a registered charity has gross income in excess of £10,000, it must clearly state the organisation’s charitable status in all:

  • notices;
  • advertisements and other documents issued by or on behalf of the charity;
  • soliciting money or other property for the benefit of the charity;
  • bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements, cheques and orders for money or goods purporting to be signed on behalf of the charity; and
  • bills rendered by it and in all its invoices, receipts and letters of credit.

Charities which are constituted as companies must abide by both charity and company law.

Charities registered under company and charity law must show the following information on their stationery:

  1. the full charity name;
  2. the place of registration, e.g. England and Wales;
  3. the company registration number;
  4. the address of its registered office; and
  5. the words Registered Charity.

This applies to all formats in which these documents are produced, including hard copy and electronic.

In Scotland, the provides the regulatory framework designed to support and encourage charitable activity in Scotland. The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) was established to register and regulate charities.

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland was established under the

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