Apply for a charity licence
An organisation needs to lodge an application through the Charitable Collections Advisory Committee to become a licensed charity.
The committee meet on a monthly basis to consider new applications and make recommendations to the Department's Minister in regards to all charity licensing matters.The committee has a responsibility under the Act to ensure duplication is minimised and encourages amalgamations wherever possible, particularly where charities provide similar services.
Include in your application, if relevant, the reasons for your organisation seeking separate licensing from any established charity with similar objectives and advise if your organisation has:
- discussed with any similar charity your objectives and whether any services or programs proposed by your organisation could be conducted as part of their program with input from personnel associated with your organisation; and
- considered approaching an existing charity with a view to amalgamating your operations and structures to avoid administrative cost duplications and unnecessary establishment costs.
Ensure the documents required by the application form are attached. Each of your principal executive officers named on the application form, must complete a principal executive officer declaration form.
Who needs a charity licence?
Only organisations which raise funds in Western Australia, as defined by section 6 of the Chartiable Collections Act 1946, are required to be licensed. Section 6 includes fundraising activities such as doorknocking, telemarketing, television-radio appeals, street appeals, mail outs, entertainments, fetes, functions etc., as well as advertising at certain types of events.
It does not include funds raised through the sale of goods where valuable consideration is involved (eg. sale of confectionery).
If your organisation does not intend to raise funds by any of the above methods you do not need to be licensed. For example, raising funds through government and Lotterywest grants, membership subscriptions, gaming machines etc. do not constitute fundraising for which a licence is required.
It is not necessary to obtain a licence to qualify for government grants, tax deductibility status and other taxation exemptions or benefits. Each individual government office based on their own requirements grants these benefits. In relation to obtaining tax deductibility status, contact the Australian Taxation Office directly on 13 28 66.
What does a licence cover?
- the collection of monies and goods from the public by way of the sale of any disc, badge, token, flower or other device;
- the conduct of any entertainment or function where admission is charged and all or part proceeds are said to go to a charitable purpose;
- advertising that all or part proceeds from any event are to go to charitable purposes; and
- the donation of goods ie the operation of clothing bins and op-shops for charitable purposes.
To obtain a licence you will need to lodge the following with the Charitable Collections Advisory Committee:
- a completed application form;
- details of members of the management committee of the organisation. The three primary office holders are required to complete a Principal Executive Officer Declaration form;
- copies of certificate of incorporation and constitution or if a corporation memorandum and articles of association of the organisation, except where the organisation is incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 in Western Australia; ;
- financial returns for the last twelve months including income and expenditure statement plus balance sheet;
- information as to whether any other organisation is operating in the field for which you propose to fundraise and whether you have approached that organisation; and
- fundraising details, including how much you intend to raise in the first year of operation.
Organisations applying for a new licence are no longer required to provide certified copies of documents to accompany a completed application.
Fees payable to be licensed
Currently there are no licence fees.
Period of licence
Licences are issued for a period of three years and can be renewed for another period of three years.
All licensed charities are required to submit to the committee audited financial statements within six months of the end of their financial year.
A guide to licensing
Covers information about obtaining a licence and collecting money from raffles and street colletions.
- Application for a charitable collections licence
- Principal executive officer declaration form
- Renew charitable collections licence form
- All charities forms and publications
Administrative Officer, Charitable Collections Advisory Committee, Department of Commerce:
- Street address: Level 2, Gordon Stevenson House, 140 William Street (Entry from Hay Street Mall), Perth
- Postal Address: Locked Bag 14, Cloisters Square WA 6850
- Telephone: 6552 9364
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