When to apply to register your charity
Usually, you must register with the Charity Commission if your charity is based in England or Wales and has over £5,000 income per year. The commission will take action to secure compliance if it identifies a charity which isn’t registered but should be.
If your charity is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) it must register whatever its income.
Charities that don’t have to register
Small unincorporated charities
If your charity is based in England and Wales and isn’t a CIO, you don’t have to apply to register it if its annual income is less than £5,000. But you can still apply to HM Revenue and Customs for recognition as a charity to get charity tax breaks and claim gift aid.
You can apply to the commission to register this sort of charity voluntarily, but the commission will only consider applications in exceptional circumstances. For example, if you can prove that your charity has been offered significant funds but has to provide a registered charity number before it can receive the funds.