You need council permission to collect money, or to sell something, to raise funds for charity.
To collect on private property you also need the permission of the landowner. For example, to collect in a shopping centre, you need permission from both the council and the shopping centre management.
There are 2 kinds of charitable collection:
- Street collection - this is a collection from passers-by in a public place. Only 1 collection is permitted in any one town, on any one day, and are normally only allowed on Saturdays. Collectors must be at least 14 years of age.
- House to house - this includes collections by visiting houses and business premises. Only one collection is permitted in any one town on any one day. House to house collections are normally only allowed Monday to Friday. Collectors must be at least 16 years of age.
How to apply
You must give the council at least 1 month's notice of your collection, but it is a good idea to apply earlier.
- Check the date you wish to collect on is available, by contacting us.
- Read our Public Charitable Collections - Standard Conditions (PDF, 117kb).
- Complete and return a Public Charitable Collection Application Form (Word, 65kb).
There is no fee for a public charitable collection.
What happens next?
We'll send your application to Police Scotland, for their comments. It will be advertised on this website for members of the public to make any objections.
Permission is usually granted without a hearing. We may refer your application to the Licensing Committee for a decision if:
- there are any objections
- you are asking for a collection on a day that is not normally only allowed
- there is already a collection of the same type (street or house to house) permitted in the same town on the day you want
If there is a hearing, we will invite you to attend and speak to the committee.
It may take up to 8 weeks to process your application. If you haven't heard from the Licensing Office within a reasonable period please contact us.
What must I do before the collection?
For both kinds of collection, the organiser must give each collector a Certificate of Authority.
Each collector must:
- produce that Certificate if asked by the Police, a council Licensing officer, or member of the public asked to make a donation
- display a badge with the name of the fund which is to get the collection
What must I do after the collection?
The organiser must lodge an account with the council within 1 month of the collection, using the form we will give you.
What law applies?
This is a permission under Section 119 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. The Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 means that 'public benevolent collections' need council consent. This system is not yet in force and collections continue to be regulated by the 1982 Act.