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.

Before collection

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. This means we allow only one date per borough per calendar year.

Download our street collection dates (see downloads below) to plan your ideal collection dates. 

Please email us with any requests for special events outside of the dates in the schedule.

Preparing your application

To make your application, please go to our how to apply for a charity collection licence page. For a street collection licence you’ll need the following items:

  • 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.

Please only apply using our online charity collection licence service. We won't accept any applications or documents sent by post. If you have any queries not covered in the online service, please email us.

Please note

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 and the Fundraising Regulator.

During collection

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 collector
  • 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.

After 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.

Submit your accounts 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

Please scan your completed schedule 2 and email it to us.

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.