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Keeping it legal

There are laws that govern all charity fundraising activity. Here are some that may be relevant to the activity you are organising. If you have any questions or want to check anything, please contact the Events team on 0344 515 1190.


For small raffles that are part of a bigger event, you do not need a licence as long as you sell tickets at the event and have the prizes drawn at the event (no cash prizes though).

The same applies to private raffles where you are only selling tickets to members of a club. For larger raffles and lotteries, or ones where you wish to sell tickets to members of the public, you must apply to the local registration authority (local council) beforehand for a licence permit.

Tickets must not be sold by anyone under the age of 16. For more guidance, you can contact the Gambling Commission.


If you plan to hold a collection on private property, such as a pub or shopping centre, you need to gain permission from the owner or manager. If you collect on the street you must gain a permit from the local authority for the area you wish to collect in.

Please don't collect money door to door; this is illegal without a licence. The minimum legal age for collecting money is 18 years old in London and 16 years old everywhere else.

If you wish to collect you must use a Shelter Scotland sealed collecting tin and carry an ID card (please call us for a tin and ID card).

Other points to remember

  • If you are selling alcohol at an event you need a liquor licence, which you can apply for from your local magistrates' court.
  • At a one-off event, you don't need a licence to sell food, but you should follow any food hygiene regulations. For longer events that run over a number of days, where you will be selling food each day, you need to register with your local authority.
  • Entertainment such as singing, music or dancing at your event requires a licence. So if your venue does not already have a Public Entertainment Licence, you need to obtain one from your local authority.
  • Let us know about an event you are planning. We can make sure you are properly supported.
  • If you would like to use the Shelter Scotland logo on anything, you must let us see the materials first.
  • Fundraising materials you produce should say: 'In aid of Shelter Scotland. Registered charity number SC002327.'