Choosing the appropriate account type for a charity

This article explains which account type to choose when you’re setting up a FreeAgent account for a charity, not-for-profit organisation, social enterprise or community interest company. It also explains how to apply for a charity discount if your business is eligible.

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Choosing a business type

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

If you don't require some of FreeAgent's more detailed bookkeeping functionality, you might want to choose a Universal account type for a charity.

Universal account type

Universal account types can be used for UK businesses as well as international businesses.

Universal accounts don't include some of the complex functionality that other company types require, such as VAT, payroll, Self Assessment, Corporation Tax or preparing accounts using cash basis accounting. If you do require any of this functionality, choose one of the other account types listed above.

Before choosing a Universal account type, please consider the following:

Paid employees

If your charity has paid employees, don’t choose a Universal account type as this doesn’t include payroll functionality.


If your charity is registered for UK VAT and you want to file your VAT returns using FreeAgent, don’t choose a Universal account type as this doesn’t include VAT functionality.

Charitable companies

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

Community interest companies

If you run a community interest company, you can use the UK Limited Company account type for your company’s day-to-day bookkeeping, but you won’t be able to use it to file your statutory accounts and company tax return as FreeAgent doesn’t support form CIC34.

Unincorporated association

If you’re running an unincorporated association and have monthly paid employees or need to file VAT, choose the UK Sole Trader account type. If neither of these apply to you, select the Universal account type.

Cash basis accounting

If you want to prepare your accounts using cash basis accounting and create invoices and bills rather than just explaining your bank transactions directly from the Banking section of FreeAgent, don't choose a Universal account type. Choose a Sole Trader or Partnership account type instead.

Charity discount

FreeAgent currently offers a 50% discount on FreeAgent subscription costs for registered charities. Discounts will also be considered on a case-by-case basis for not-for-profit organisations, community interest companies and social enterprises that have a mission to benefit their community and have clear social objectives.

To check whether your organisation is eligible for the discount, please email and provide either your registered charity number or further information on what your not-for-profit organisation, community interest company or social enterprise does for the community.

If you have a website for your organisation, please also provide a link to this in the email. A member of our Support team will assess whether your business is eligible for the discount and, if so, will apply it to your FreeAgent subscription.

Please note:

  • The discount will be applied from the date it is agreed. It won’t be possible to receive a refund for subscription charges that have already been paid.

  • The discount won’t be applied automatically when you select the ‘Charity/NFP/CIC’ business category - you must contact our Support team to apply for the discount.

  • The 50% charity discount won’t apply to any purchased add-ons.

  • You can earn an additional discount on your subscription via the FreeAgent referral scheme, but you must have five active referrals on your account before you start to benefit. From the sixth referral onwards, you can earn an additional 10% discount for each person you refer who goes on to subscribe to FreeAgent.

  • The charity discount can’t be applied if your FreeAgent subscription is currently benefiting from any discount other than the referral scheme, such as the '50% off for the first six months' offer.

  • If your charity, not-for-profit organisation, social enterprise or community interest company has a business current account with NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland or Ulster Bank, you’ll be eligible for a free subscription, so the charity discount will not be necessary. You’ll be switched to a free subscription once you add your bank account in FreeAgent and enable a bank feed. Find out more about how to switch to a NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland or Ulster Bank-funded FreeAgent account.

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