How to choose 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.

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

Universal 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 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 and Corporation Tax computations. 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 staff

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


If your charity is registered for UK VAT and you want to file your VAT returns using FreeAgent, or you are cash accounting for VAT, don’t choose a Universal account type as neither of those functions are available.

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 does not support form CIC34.

Unincorporated association

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

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