Jersey's charities law
Registering a Jersey charity


Globally there are now over 46 million millionaires and over 2,700 billionaires, collectively owning over $150 trillion. For many of those individuals, charity is a very emotive topic and is often at the forefront of wealth distribution discussions.

With a strong regulatory framework under the Charities (Jersey) Law 2014 (the Law) and an infrastructure that sets it apart from other international finance centres, together with political and economic stability, Jersey is an ideal jurisdiction for the formation and administration of charitable structures.

Jersey's charities law

The Law became fully enforceable on 1 January 2019 and created a modern legal framework to support all types of charitable structures both locally and internationally by providing the appropriate and expected levels of governance and accountability.

Entities that can apply for registration include the trustees of Jersey trusts, Jersey foundations, Jersey companies, fidéicommis and 1862 Associations.(1) Entities not established in Jersey may make an application for charitable status subject to certain conditions.(2)

Charitable purposes include, among others, the relief of poverty, the advancement of education, religion, health, arts, sport, culture and the promotion of equality and diversity. Charitable purposes must not be purely ancillary or incidental, and the entity must intend to provide public benefit in Jersey or elsewhere to a reasonable degree.

The Jersey Charities Commissioner issues guidance on the operation of the Law, the operation of the registers and the administration of the charity tests, and it provides an ongoing supervisory role to ensure compliance with the Law.

Registering a Jersey charity

The advantages of registering a Jersey charity include:

  • that the entity can call itself a charity (if an entity has not been registered, then it cannot call itself a charity in Jersey);
  • that the entity may continue to benefit from an exemption from Jersey income tax;
  • that registration instils an element of trust and reputation; and
  • the option of public and private registers.

Registration is a voluntary act and any entity may apply for registration. The registration is an online process. The Commissioner has also produced comprehensive guidance notes on the operation of the Law and what information (and why) is required in the application process.

The register of charities is divided into:

  • the general section, for those entities wishing to call themselves a charity to solicit donations and have full access to tax reliefs;
  • the restricted section, for charities that do not intend to solicit donations; and
  • the historic section, for deregistered entities.

A statement of registered charitable purposes and a statement of public benefit must be submitted. Upon registration, these statements will be entered in the public part of the register. The statements of restricted section charities will only be identified by their registration number, not their name.

Information available publicly under the general section of the register includes the charity's address, the names of its governors and its public benefit and charitable purpose statements. Information publicly available under the restricted section is limited. Constitutional documents must be submitted but will not be entered in the public part of the register.

Ongoing disclosure for all registered charities includes a requirement to make an annual return of their financial affairs to the Commissioner. This in return then becomes publicly available on the register, except where the information is restricted.

For further information on this topic please contact Richard Laignel, Katie Baxter or James Campbell at Ogier by telephone (+44 1534 514000) or email ([email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]). The Ogier website can be accessed at


(1) An 1862 Association is a legal entity incorporated under the Lois (1862 et 1963) sur les teneures en fidéicommis et l'incorporation d'associations. It is an incorporated association, usually used by local charities that want to own local property.

(2) See the infographic version of the At A Glance Guide to registering a Jersey charity.