Joint Statement

Joint Statement
Senscot Legal & Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
June 2014

It’s estimated that there are well in excess of 500 social enterprises across Scotland which are registered as charities and regulated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).  They operate successfully on this basis, and enjoy the benefits of charitable status, such as tax reliefs, rates relief and access to charitable sources of funding.


To do this, social enterprises need to comply with the requirements of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 (‘the 2005 Act’).  The main elements of this are that:


• The social enterprise must meet the charity test to become and remain a charity


• The people in control and management of the social enterprise charity  (its charity trustees) must meet their general trustee duties – essentially to act in the interests of the charity at all times


• The charity trustees must comply with the other requirements of charity law, including the conditions on payments to trustees and people who are connected to them.


OSCR and Senscot Legal have been looking at some of the regulatory challenges which can arise for social enterprises which apply for charitable status, and we have compiled the following list of questions which people setting up social enterprises should think about before they apply for charitable status.  Thinking about the answers to these questions right at the beginning of the process will help Senscot Legal to help you, and will make it easier for OSCR to deal with your charitable status application more quickly. 


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