Knowledge Base Getting Started Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the appropriate account type for a charity

This article explains which account type you should choose when setting up your FreeAgent account if you're keeping the accounts for a charity.

If your charity is one of these business types, select it as your FreeAgent account type:

You might also want to set up a Universal account type for a charity, especially if you don't require some of FreeAgent's more detailed bookkeeping functionality. Universal account types can be used for UK businesses as well as international businesses, but there are some things to bear in mind first:

Paid staff

If your charity has paid staff, then avoid choosing the Universal account as this does not have a payroll function in FreeAgent.


If your charity is registered for UK VAT and you want to file your VAT returns online, or you are cash accounting for VAT, then avoid choosing the Universal account type as this doesn't have those functions available.

Charitable companies

If your charity is also a limited company registered at Companies House, then choose the UK Limited Company account type.

Unincorporated association

If you’re running an unincorporated association, you don’t need to choose the UK Limited Company account type. If you have monthly paid staff, or need to file VAT, then you should use the UK Sole Trader account type. If neither of these apply to you, you should select the Universal account type.

Other functionality

Universal accounts don't feature some of the complex functionality that other company types require, such as VAT and payroll (mentioned above) and also Self Assessment and corporation tax projection. As a charity, you may well not require any of this functionality. If you do, however, make sure to choose one of the other account types listed above.

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