A street collection licence is issued by the Met and grants you permission to collect money for charity in London’s public spaces. If you’re planning to hit the streets with your change bucket, find out how to apply for a collection licence, the rules around collecting donations on the street and how to report your takings afterwards.
To make sure you don’t have to compete for donations with another charity on your collection day, we allocate a set number of street collection dates each year. A charity is allowed four street collection days per year, but each day must be in separate boroughs.
Download our street collection dates (see downloads below) to plan your ideal collection dates.
Preparing your application
To apply for a street collection licence you’ll need the following items:
your completed street collections application form (see downloads below)
a letter from your chosen charity authorising you to collect on their behalf
a synopsis of the charity’s background and objectives
contact details of your chief promoter, who must be an employee of the charity
a letter of sponsorship from the Mayor of your chosen borough or boroughs (a letter is not required for the boroughs of Westminster and Newham)
If you’re collecting during the London Marathon along its route, a letter of sponsorship from the mayor isn’t required.
These can take some time to gather together, so we recommend starting your preparations as early as possible.
Also, bear in mind we must receive applications by the first day of the month before your chosen collection date. So, for example, if you’re planning to collect on 20 September we need to receive your application no later than 1 August.
Once you have all the items above, post them with a covering letter to:
Charities Office 17th Floor East Lillie Road London SW6 1TR
We don't issue permits for busking or any sporting events.
In order to qualify for a licence, your chosen charity must be registered with the Charity Commission.
Street collection licences are granted on the condition that you follow these general rules when collecting:
collectors must be over 16 years old, unless the collection is part of a procession
if the collection is part of a procession, collectors can be any age, though under 14s must be accompanied by a responsible adult
collectors must be stationary, unless the collection is part of a procession
collectors must be positioned at least 25 metres apart
collectors must not be a danger, obstruction, inconvenience or annoyance to anyone
all collection boxes/buckets should display the name of the charity or fund collecting and should be securely sealed
no animal except guide dogs should accompany collectors
collectors should carry a written authority or badge signed on behalf of the Chief Promoter
no payment should be made to collectors
a sample badge or letter of authority should be submitted to the Charities office before the collection takes place
In addition, while ‘fancy dress’ is a good way to grab attention, we strongly discourage hiring or buying costumes using the proceeds of the collection. Only ten per cent of your collection may be claimed as expenses for your first collection.
Once you’ve raised money, don’t forget: as part of your street collection licence you need to submit the details below within three months.
Accounts should be submitted using our schedule 2 form (see downloads below), showing:
the total amount collected
the names of all collectors and amounts collected by each
any expenses or payments incurred
certification by two of the people responsible for the collection
certification by a qualified accountant
An article shall be published in a printed or online newspaper, describing the area in which the collection took place, the amount collected and any expenses incurred
If your collection total is £400 or less, you can request that the need for an accountant's signature on the schedule 2 form and the publication of a newspaper article be waived.