This question breaks down into two parts – both of which need to apply for your organisation to be required to register.
- No: don’t need to register with OSCR.
- Yes: you must register with OSCR.
1. Generally speaking ‘activities’ include a wide range of actions – from fundraising to providing services, including admin activities. However, when deciding if the organisation needs to register with OSCR the significance of the organisation’s operations will be a factor. Such as:
- Are your activities in Scotland significant to your organisation relative to its activities elsewhere? If you carry out a sizeable or an important part of your overall activities in Scotland, then this is significant activity. For example if the benefit from your activities falls primarily in Scotland then this would be considered to be ‘significant’, even if your activities as a whole are not that extensive (for example because your organisation is small).
- Are your activities in Scotland of a frequent or ongoing nature? For instance if you held conferences on a one-off or irregular basis in Scotland (with no commitment to these being repeated in future) this would probably not be considered as carrying out significant activities here.
- Is the overall impact of the activities significant? It is possible that even a single annual event could have enough impact to mean that you need to register. A nationwide annual fundraising event held in Scotland could for example be considered significant because of the amount of money raised or because of its public profile.
2. ‘Similar premises’ means a ‘place of business,’ that is, a place in which commercial activity and/or the activities of charities are carried out.
‘Premises’ can be a building, a structure, a construction, a place, a property or a site. This could mean anything from a mobile kiosk to a tower block or even an open air market.
- What is the current primary purpose of the premises?
The current primary purpose of the premises may not be the one for which it was originally intended. For example where a house has been converted to offices the primary purpose should be taken as being business not residential. A useful guide in this context may be how the local authority treats the premises for purposes of planning or rates.
- Premises with more than one purpose.
If the primary purpose of the premises is not for business, then is there a particular part of the premises dedicated to business? For example a room in a house converted to an office or shop and used on a long term basis.
- Not owning or renting the premises
You don’t have to own or rent the premises to be carrying out activities. For example, a self help group holding weekly sessions in a church hall would be considered to ‘carry out activities in similar premises’.
Generally if the activities only take place within an employee’s private residence in Scotland on an occasional basis, then you will not need to register with OSCR.
However, if the employee also frequently works in a place of business by regularly visiting other organisations in their offices or attending meetings or public events in Scotland that would be carrying out activities in a place of business and you would need to register.