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House-to-house collection permit

You need to apply for a house-to-house collection permit if you want to collect money or goods from people's homes for charity.

Warning You could face up to 6 months in prison or be fined if you collect without a permit, breach collection regulations or fail to provide a financial return statement after you have collected

Before you apply

Before you apply, you need to check if the charity you are representing needs a permit. Some national charities do not need a house-to-house collection permit, they only need to notify us of the dates and places they are collecting. 

To see if the charity you are collecting for is on the list of exempt charities, please check the Cabinet Office's National Exemption Orders web page

You must apply for a permit if you are any of the following:

  • a small charity
  • a local group (such as, scouts or girl guides)

Fees and prices

There is no charge for a house-to-house collection permit.

Licence duration

All house-to-house collection permits will be granted for the period of collection, unless we specifically state a shorter period when we grant your permit.

How to apply

You should apply for a permit at least two weeks before you plan to collect. Due to high demand, we recommend you apply as early as possible.

You can submit an application using our online form.

Apply for a house-to-house collection permit

Further information

Select a topic below to find out more about house-to-house collection permits.

The application process

Once we receive your completed application form, we will check that the charity is registered and that your chosen collection dates are available.

If the dates are not available, we will contact you by phone or email to agree an alternative.

If your application is successful, we will email your permit to you.

With your permit, we will also include:

  • A financial returns form (Form of Statement)
  • A copy of the Collection Regulations
  • An order form so you can obtain your collectors badges from The Stationery Office (TSO)

Before you can carry out your collection, you need to order and pay for your badges from TSO using the order form we send with your permit.

You should apply as early as possible before you plan to hold your collection to ensure you have enough time to order your badges.

Financial return statement

Within one month of the collection, you must send us a completed financial returns form (Form of Statement) showing how much money was collected and how much of this went to the charity. This must also be signed by a qualified accountant.

We will send you a template of this form when we send your permit.

Processing time

Tacit consent applies. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from us within 60 days.


To appeal against a decision, email Licensing Services at:

If your application is refused, you also have the right to appeal to the Minister for the Cabinet Office

You must lodge an appeal within 14 days of the refusal or decision.

Relevant legislation

House to House Collections Act 1939

We have made the information on these web pages as comprehensive as possible.  However, in attempting to simplify the law, certain requirements have been omitted. Full details of what you must do are in the relevant legislation.

Laws can and do change. We must advise that only the Courts can give an authoritative opinion on statute law.

Customer complaints

If you want to make a complaint about an individual or an organisation that is carrying out house-to-house collections, please complete our online form