Introduction to charity registration

A new chapter in the history of Northern Ireland’s charities has begun with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland having now commenced compulsory registration of charities.

The highly anticipated step also saw the creation of Northern Ireland’s first register of charities. Please scroll down this page for access to the register, online services and the registration application system.

It is estimated that there are between 7,000 and 12,000 charities operating in Northern Ireland so registration will be a managed process over coming years, with charitable organisations called forward by the Commission in tranches to apply to register.

All organisations that are, or could be, charitable must apply for registration when called forward by the Charity Commission.

Compulsory registration with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is different from registration with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for charitable tax exemptions, so even if you have an HMRC registration number you must still apply for registration with the Commission.

You can find out more about charity registration, including how you can prepare for your registration application, using the links below:

Charity registration

Because we are managing registration in stages, only organisations which have been called forward by the Commission, and have received an application password, will be able to apply to register as a charity at present. If you believe your organisation is a charity and should be registered in Northern Ireland and you have not yet been called forward, you should follow the steps outlined here.

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