Application for registration is compulsory if your organisation is, or will be, charitable. This means all organisations must apply to the Commission to register as a charity in Northern Ireland if:
they have exclusively charitable purposes
they are governed by the law of Northern Ireland
they have has control and direction over its governance and resources.
This is irrespective of size, annual income or whether your organisation has already applied to HMRC for charitable tax exemptions.
Charity registration in Northern Ireland began on Mionday 16 December 2013. However, it is important to note that registration will not happen overnight.
It is estimated that there are between 7,000 and 12,000 charitable organisations in Northern Ireland, so registration will be a managed process. Charitable organisations will be called forward by the Commission to apply in tranches. This will provide Northern Ireland with a list of registered charities for the first time.
If you start a new charity in Northern Ireland and you would like to apply to HMRC for charitable tax status, you will need to successfully register as a charity with the Commission first. You can find more information on that here.
If you are a charity already operating in Northern Ireland and would like to find out more about registration, you can check if you are on one of the Commission’s registration lists and the next steps you should take online here.