Under charity law, an organisation must apply to register with the Commission, Northern Ireland’s charity regulator, if:
- it has exclusively charitable purposes
- it is governed by the law of Northern Ireland
- it has control and direction over its governance and resources.
This means all charitable organisations in Northern Ireland must apply for registration, irrespective of their size, annual income or whether the organisation is registered with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for charitable tax purposes.
Charity law in Northern Ireland defines 12 descriptions of charitable purpose, including the advancement of amateur sport. To be a charity, each of an organisation’s purposes must fit under one or more of the descriptions and be for the public benefit. All sports organisations who are not registered as Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) must by law notify The Charity Commission of their intention to register by 31st December 2014.