Licences for house and street collections

Pages in Licences for house and street collections

  1. 1. You are here: House collection licence
  2. 2. Street collection licence

1. House collection licence

To carry out house-to-house collections for charitable and / or philanthropic purposes in England and Wales you require a licence issued under the House to House Collections Act 1939 by the local authority in whose district the collection is proposed to take place.

You must be deemed by the licensing authority to be a fit and proper person to hold such a licence and the licensing authority may carry out checks to ascertain if the organisation applying is genuine or not. There is a requirement for the promoter of the collection to make a return following the collection. Collections generally take place from door to door or from one public house to another.

Larger well-known charities that hold a Home Office exemption certificate are not required to apply for house-to-house collection licences.

Therefore if you want to carry out house to house collections in the Borough and you are not Home Office Exempt, you must apply for permission from the Borough Council.

Apply to carry out house to house collections   

Please either submit your application form direct or if appropriate email your application to Alternatively if you prefer to print and post your application please do so addressed to: Licensing Officer, Licensing Department, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, Town Hall, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 0SH. 

Information Returns

Within one month of the collection, the person/society/committee responsible should forward a statement in a prescribed form to the Licensing Authority, which has also been certified that the auditor of the society or by some independent responsible person.

The return should show in detail the amount received and the expenses incurred in connection with the collection, and shall, if required by the Licensing Authority, satisfy them as to the due and proper application of the proceeds of the collection.

The society, committee or other body shall also, within the same period, at their own expense and after audit, publish in such newspaper or newspapers as the Licensing Authority may direct, a short statement showing the following:

  • name of the person, society, committee or other body of persons responsible for the collection or sale
  • the name of the charity or fund which is to benefit
  • the date of the collection or sale
  • the amount collected, the amount of the expenses  
  • the amount distributed to the charity or fund.

Failure to return this information may result in the charity being refused permission to collect in the future.

Fees & charges

There is no fee payable for a house-to-house collection licence.

Fines and Penalties

If you don’t get a licence before starting house-to-house collections you could face:

  • up to 6 months in prison
  • a fine of up to £1,000

If you or anyone collecting on your behalf does not give a police officer their name, address and signature when asked to, they could be fined up to £200.

National Exemption Order Scheme

The Minister for the Cabinet Office is responsible for the national exemption order scheme for house-to-house collections under the House to House Collections Act 1939 (as amended). National exemption orders are generally available to charitable organisations that have obtained house to house collection licences in at least 70-100 local authority licensing areas for the two preceding years and are able to provide evidence of licences and collection returns.

Details of the application process and a list of exemption order holders can be found here.

Further Information