The long-awaited public utility is one of the mainstays for non-profit organizations. Not only for the financial contribution received, but also for the fiscal benefits included in Law 49/2002 of December 23, such as free tax advice and access to notices for public grants.

However, certain criteria are necessary in order to obtain the status of public utility, which, although they are not complicated to achieve, require prior preparations that is mandatory to have carried out (if this is not your case, we recommended you start now in order to be able to access the public utility in the future).

The requirements to achieve public utility are.

  • The first thing to bear in mind is that the application will be made in the registry corresponding to the entity’s registration (national, regional or lower level).
  • The objectives of the entity must correspond to one of those listed in article 32 of Organic Law 1/2002, making it clear that they pursue the general interest and of third parties, beyond the benefit of the associated persons. As an example, these objectives can be social assistance, promotion of women, child protection, health, cultural, educational, etc.
  • You must have, at least, a record of activities for the last two years.
  • In the same way, the annual accounts of the last two financial years must be presented. This requirement, together with the previous one, may differ, depending on the Autonomous Community, the minimum being, for example, 3 years.
  • It is crucial that the entity has sufficient material means and personnel to ensure compliance with the goals established in its statutes, for the correct development of its activity. A good and clear organization of the entity is key to this requirement.
  • Finally, the members of the entity’s organs can not receive a salary from public subsidies.

If you believe that your NGO meets the above requirements, we encourage you to start with the applications (sample applications for public utility). Most of the time, the most complicated thing is that the entity has the activity reports and the annual accounts of the last two years clear and in order. The rest does not require much effort.

If you think that your entity does not comply with the above, it is recommended to start from this moment to put the criteria in order. Especially with the activity log and the accounts. Thus when the period of the procedures has completed, it will be much simpler.

However, there are alternatives to obtain subsidies and public aid that can help us whilst we don’t have the public utility. If you are interested, we recommend you read this other post that deals with possible grants for NGOs.