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Seeks information on charitable organisations

| 30/05/2017 | 3 Comments

Is there a register of charities on island? Somewhere online I can go and check if a charity is legally a registered one? Also, what are the laws regarding persons acting as a charity without legally being registered?


Auntie’s answer: I have tracked down the answers to your questions with the help of the General Registry Department. For starters, non-profits are recorded in a database maintained by the Ministry of Finance and the General Registry.

This information is not yet available online; that awaits the enactment of the Non-Profit Organisations (NPO) Law, 2016, which is in bill form (more on that below). For now, the public can request information on non-profits from the registry.

In addition, until that bill becomes law, “The legal process for being identified and licensed as a not-for-profit (in other words, a charitable organisation) is to apply in writing to the Ministry of Finance, in accordance with Section 80 of the Companies Law (2016 Revision), which can be viewed here. This is currently the only means by which to apply for treatment as a not-for-profit company in the Cayman Islands.”

Following on from that, “There are currently no laws in relation to persons acting as charities without legally being licensed. However, without a not-for-profit licence, entities do not enjoy benefits including no work permit fees, no annual company fees, and no trade and business licence requirements.”

The new legislation will require organisations that meet the definition of a not-for-profit to register and follow the provisions of the law, which will define an NPO as “a company or body of persons, whether incorporated or unincorporated, or a trust –

  1. a) Established or which identifies itself as established primarily for the promotion of charitable, philanthropic, religious, cultural, educational, social or fraternal purposes, or other activities or programmes for the public benefit or a section of the public within the Islands or elsewhere; and
  2. b) Which solicits contributions from the public or a section of the public within the Islands or elsewhere.”

Going forward, under the NPO Law, the public will be able to search the register online for free to access basic information on an organisation, which comprises the name, the address in the Cayman Islands, contact information, purpose and activities, and date of its registration and/or cancellation under that law. You will also be able to request a free search at the General Registry front counter.

If you need a printed copy, that will cost $30, as part of the government’s “efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by printing less paper”, the registry official explained.

As of now, I have been told that the government plans to enact the Non-Profit Organisations Law this summer.

The Non-Profit Organisations Bill can be found on the CNS Library

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is clearly stated in the article:

    “However, without a not-for-profit licence, entities do not enjoy benefits including no work permit fees, no annual company fees, and no trade and business licence requirements.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    This answer is now out of date, Auntie. The NPO Law was passed in the last session of the LA and will come into force on the 1st of August:

    http://www.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/12412428.PDF
    http://www.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/12418472.PDF

  3. Anonymous says:

    So a group that has been acting as a charity without being registered as such is breaking the law if they don’t have a TBL?

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