Hi, we just made a decision what kind of legal structure we want to have as voluntary organisation. It will be Company Limited by Guarantee, now is it enough to register (be a member) with you and register in revenue or are we obliged to register as a company Iin Companies Registration Office before we apply for charity status to be tax exempted? 




deirdreg's picture

Hello Anna, It is really

Hello Anna, 

It is really important that you download and read the Information Sheet that is on our website called 'Setting Up a Charity' - as it will explain all of this to you. 

In summary, if you want to set up a new charity, you will need to:

  1. Figure out what kind of legel stucture you will take: usually, either an 'unincorporated association' (in which case you do not need to register this with any entity) or a Company Limited by Guarantee (which you will need to register with the Companies Registration Office / CRO). [NOte that there are otehr legal structures/forms that charities can have, but these two are the most used. You can see the advantages and disadvantages of each in our Information Sheet]. One of the results of becoming a company is that you recieve a 'company number'. 
  2. Seek registration as a charity with the Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA). You will need to contact them at their website and firstly seek a user-id / password for their website. And once you have those, you will need to fill out all of the web-based application process to actualy apply to become an officially registered charity in ireland. You will recieve a 'charity number' that is uniquely yours as a reuslt of this step. 
  3. An OPTIONAL 3rd step would be to apply to teh Revenue Commissioners on the relevant form to seek 'charitable tax exempt status'. If you do this, you will get a CHY number. Note that this step is TOTALLY OPTIONAL, and it is for you to decide whether it is of any benefit to your organisation or not. 

I recommend doing the steps above in the order in which they are written. 

At no stage whatsoever is it necessary to beocme a member with The Wheel. It is not possible to 'registere with us' in any way, and you should not confused membership of an umbreall body like The Wheel, with the registration that you would need to do with a statutory authority or regulator. 

Naturally, if you WANT to become a member of The Wheel, we would really love to welcome you to our network and we know that our members enjoy significant members benefits, and you can see our 'membership' section of our website to see what those benefits are. 

Kind regards, Deirdre

aew's picture

Hi, we did all of that, we

Hi, we did all of that, we are a member of wheel, we are registered with revenue (have tax refference number) and applied for a tax clearnace, also applied for charity status, awaiting decision now. 

I just heard that by doing all that there's no need to go to CRO as we are non-profit voluntary association regulated only by constitution. I wonder if as a charity (if we get a CHY number) we still are obliged to register as a company with CRO? Will we have to do Annual Return too?

deirdreg's picture

Hi, the answer to this second


the answer to this second question is part of my point # 1 in my previuos answer. It is your organisation's choice to stay as an 'unincorporated association' (which you describe as "non-profit voluntary association") . 

If you stay as an unincorporated association you do not need to registere with teh CRO. The CRO stands for Companies Registration Office and it is only relevant for organisations which structured themselves as companies. 

If you choose to not become a company, then there is no rason for you to have any business with the CRO - regardless of whather you have a CHY number or a CRA number or anything.

If you choose (at a later stage) to become a company, then you would register as a company with the CRO and then you would have to make annual returns to them also.

Regard, Deirdre 

aew's picture

Ok, thanks. I was convinced

Ok, thanks. I was convinced that voluntary association is informal and CLG would be a formal status for it.