Charitable Street Collections

Do I need a Permit?

Anyone who wishes to collect money on the street for a "charitable purpose" needs to apply to the Council for a Street Collection Permit. 

Regulation Summary

There are a number of pieces of legislation that regulate street collections, these include the Charities Act.

Application Evaluation

The definition of a "public place"  includes the entranceways to shops and car parks because the public has access at that time.  Although the foyer of a supermarket could be considered to be behind "closed doors" and subject to permission from the Manager, a permit will not be required but any collector straying outside and/or into the car park would require a permit

This Council runs a diary booking system so that we can try to ensure two different organisations are not collecting on the same day in the same place. You are, therefore, advised to apply early to get your desired location or date.  A list of permits already issued can be found on the Licence Search page.

Within one month of the date of collection the person to whom the permit was granted has to forward to the Council, the following:

  • A list of the collectors
  • A list of the amounts contained in each collection box
  • A statement showing the amount of monies received and the expenses and payments incurred in connection with such a collection.  This statement must be certified by that person and either a qualified accountant or an independent responsible person.  A qualified accountant means a person that is a member one or more of the following bodies:

            i)   The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

            ii)  The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland

            iii) The Association of Certified Accountants

            iv)  The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

Yes - this means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from us within 28 days. 

The 28 day period begins on the day a fully completed application, including all relevant documentation, is received.

How Do I Apply?

You can submit your application online, or by post.

Documentation required:

  • Literature about the organisation
  • Copy of published accounts for the last two years
  • Letter from charitable organisation authorising you to undertake a collection on their behalf, if you are not an official of the organisation
  • An agreement or contract details with any registered charity or individual benefiting from this collection
  • Applications should also meet the requirements of Appendix B of the Council's Charitable Collections Policy.
Failed Application Redress

Please contact us in the first instance

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Contact Us

Licensing Unit, West Somerset Council, West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 4QA


Telephone:  01643 703704

Notifying of Incidents or Instances - Street Collection & House to House Collections

If you wish to report any instance or incident relating to unlicensed collections or the behaviour of collectors, please complete the online form or write to the Licensing Unit.

If you have any comments, enquiries or feedback about any of our services, please complete the online form.  Your comments will be collated and used to improve the service we provide.