Guidance for Candidates and Agents at local government elections in England

Who can you accept a donation from?

You must only accept donations from a permissible source.1  A permissible source is:

  • an individual registered on a UK electoral register,2  including overseas electors
  • a Great Britain registered political party3
  • a UK registered company which is incorporated in the UK and carries on business in the UK4
  • a UK-registered trade union5
  • a UK-registered building society6
  • a UK-registered limited liability partnership (LLP) that carries on business in the UK7
  • a UK-registered friendly society8
  • UK-based unincorporated association that carries on business or other activities wholly or mainly in the UK and has its main office in the UK9

You can also accept donations from some types of trusts10  and from bequests.11  The rules on these donations are complicated, so please get in touch with us for more information.

Although under electoral law you can legally accept donations from charities that are one of the permissible sources listed above, charities are not usually allowed to make political donations under charity law. You should check that any charity offering a donation has taken advice from the relevant charity regulator before accepting it.

Last updated: 29 November 2023