Charitable collections licence

House to house collections

House to house collections require a licence. A licence is not required by the holder of a national exemption order.

Please apply for a licence at least a month before the day you plan to start the collection.

A licence cannot be granted for a period longer than 12 months, although most applicants will restrict the licence period to no more than one month in order to facilitate proportioned collecting throughout the area.

Please note: charity bags and clothing collections also require a licence.


Apply for a house to house collection licence

When a licence may be refused

We may refuse to grant a licence or, where a licence has already been granted, may revoke it in circumstances specified in the legislation and these include:

  • the total amount likely to be applied for charitable purposes is inadequate in proportion to the value of the proceeds likely to be received
  • remuneration retained by any person out of the proceeds is excessive
  • the granting of a licence would facilitate begging
  • the applicant or anyone authorised by him to collect is not a fit and proper person
  • the applicant or licence holder has refused or neglected to provide us with such information as it reasonably required

There is a right of appeal to the Secretary of State against the refusal or revocation of a licence within 14 days from the date on which notice is given of the refusal or the revocation. 


Regulations have been made by the Secretary of State and they include the following provisions: 

  • every promoter of a collection must exercise all due diligence to secure that persons authorised to act as collectors are fit and proper persons and secure compliance by collectors with the regulations
  • no promoter shall permit any person to act as a collector unless he has issued to that person:
    • a prescribed certificate of authority
    • a prescribed badge, and
    • if money is to be collected, a collecting box marked, or a receipt book (with receipts and counterfoils or duplicates consecutively numbered) marked on every receipt, with a general indication of the purpose of the collection, and a distinguishing number
  • in the case of a collection in respect of which a licence has been granted, every prescribed certificate of authority shall be given on a form obtained from The Stationery Office, and every prescribed badge shall be so obtained
  • no person under the age of 16 shall act, or be authorised to act, as a collector of money
  • no collector shall importune any person to the annoyance of such person or remain in, or at the door of, any house if requested to leave by any occupant thereof
  • the promoter of a collection must provide an account of the collection to us within one month of the expiry of the licence