About this service
Use this service to apply to register:
- an existing entity in Jersey with the Charity Commissioner
- a new charity or one that will replace an existing entity in Jersey
Please refer to Guidance Note 3a on this website. This Guidance Note covers the requirements under the Law for applications for registration in the General Section of the charity register and indicates the information provided by applicants that will be entered in the public part of the register. It is also relevant for applications for the Restricted Section of the register but in that case applicant entities should also refer to Guidance Note 3b which outlines certain additional requirements which must be satisfied for registration in that Section.
Before you start, make sure you have copies of:
- the organisation’s governing document (e.g. its constitution)
- a governor’s declaration form signed by all the organisation’s governors
- your latest accounts
What does it mean to be a charity?
Any entity may apply to be a registered charity if it has a written constitution and is either a Jersey entity or if not, carries out substantial activity in Jersey. A charity in Jersey is an organisation which is entered on the Jersey Charity Register. An organisation can only become a charity if it meets the ‘charity test’, meaning that it must show it has only charitable purposes and benefits the public in giving effect to those purposes.
The Jersey Charity Commissioner decides whether to grant an organisation charitable status and to enter it on the Register. The Commissioner monitors the charity to check it complies with the law. The Commissioner seeks to encourage a flourishing charity sector that the public can trust. So, if your organisation becomes a charity, it will be granted a status that recognises its contribution to society but also carries lasting legal responsibilities.
All charities must submit an annual return and accounts to the Jersey Charity Commissioner every year and seek permission to make certain changes. If you are thinking of becoming a charity, you should consider whether this is right for you. There are a lot of advantages to becoming a charity but it may not be the only, or the best, option for your organisation.
If you would like your organisation to become a charity there are several things you will have to do before applying to be registered:
- Decide what kind of organisation you would like to be, such as a company, a trust or an association.
- Decide who will run your charity as the charity’s governors. If you are thinking of becoming a charity governor you should read Charity Governor’s Duties, available on this website.
- Prepare a governing document, such as a constitution, which sets out your purposes, the rules of how your charity will be run, what it can do with its assets and how it can make changes to itself.
- Decide what your charity’s name should be. The Commissioner cannot register a charity whose name is the same or too similar to an existing one, or is misleading or offensive.
Please seek advice about these decisions if you need to. Joining an umbrella organisation will give you support to help develop your charity. You can choose a general umbrella group or one that represents your area of interest, for instance in health, religion or education.
Need help to set up your charity?
The Jersey Charity Commissioner can offer you general guidance on the application process but cannot help you to set up your charity, as you will have your own individual circumstances. However, you can read the Commissioner’s publications on this website and help is available from other sources.