What is the best way to Register societies (NGOs) in India?
On an average, the time consumed to register societies is around 30 days’, which is not an affordable thing for entrepreneurs. With the given regulatory environment, in this blog, we will unleash strategies you can utilize to speed up the registration to kick-start early.
Step 1: Get clarity if your Idea qualifies to be charitable
Definition of Charitable purposes – Business ideas with an objective of either:
- Relief of poverty,
- Advancement of religion and
- other purposes beneficial to the community not coming under any of the preceding heads.
Step 2: Meet the team size criteria
The founding team should consist a minimum of 7 members. Also, ensure that the members have following documents in place:
- Valid IP Proofs
- Valid Address Proofs
Step 3: Name the society such that it can be approved by registrar
Before you get fixated on a name, we advise you to check is the name can be approved by the registrar. Wondering how? Well, these are the criteria for society name selection:
- The name should be unique and not similar to already registered Societies.
- The name must not suggest patronage of the government of India.
Step 4: Keep Office Address related documents in place
There have been cases were registration process got delayed by weeks, because of property related documents. We advise you to have these documents in place:
- Electricity or Water bill
- In case you own the place, then keep property papers intact
- Landlord NOC
Step 5: Get Memorandum of Association (MoA) drafted by experienced professionals
MoA is a legal document that constitutes details of:
- The name of the society
- The objective of the society
- Details of governors, council, directors, committee, or other governing bodies.
MoA is a document that will be submitted for many business-related registrations in future. Also, this document can be accessed by the public. For MoA to meet the quality benchmark, getting the same drafted by a qualified professional is advised.
Step 6: Draft Rules and Regulations governing society compatible with MoA
This document will address:
- Details of membership and subscription
- Planning for meetings
- Criteria for governing bodies appointment
- Planning auditor appointment
- Dispute resolution strategy
- Dissolution strategy
Note, Along with MoA, submit a copy of rules and regulations of the society certified by at least three governing bodies. If you miss on this, you might have to face a delay.
Step 7: Keep required documents in tact
List of documents apart from MoA, Rules & Regulation, office address details and member details, there are a few documents that will be required for registration:
- Request letter signed by founding members addressing Registrar requesting registration.
- Proceedings of the first meeting (general body meeting conducted to set the rules and regulations)
- Declaration by the president of the society
- A sworn affidavit from the President or Secretary, declaring the relationship between the subscribers.
Step 8: Be available to pay fees on time.
Once you submit all the documents as discussed in above steps, you will have to pay a fee of INR 50 or such smaller fees from time to time.
Follow the steps listed above diligently, and if the registrar is satisfied he or she would approve the registration of your society.
As a closing note, a Couple of questions that founders of societies generally tend to ask:
Q1. Is it mandatory to register a society?
No, but the advantages of registration is –
- NGO is recognized only after registration
- Low risk
- Limited liability for members
- Society can be vested upon,
- Society and members can sue anyone,
- Society can purchase property in its name,
- Exemption from income tax,
- Considered as separate entity from members,
Q2. How can a society be dissolved?
A Society can be dissolved by:
- its members,
- the Registrar,
- the Court or
- by the Government.
Q3. Under what circumstances can a registrar dissolve a society?
The registrar of societies (as per the respective state acts) can dissolve a society. These circumstances may be:
- The society has done unlawful activities
- According to the memorandum of association governing the society:
- Society’s object clause has not been fulfilled
- Office of the society has ceased to be in state of registration
- Members of the society are below the required number of seven
- Society has ceased to function for a particular period of time
- Society has been declared insolvent(not able to pay its liabilities).
- Society’s activities are against the Governmental or the state policy
- Society has become insolvent
- Society has contravened any law or the provisions of the Societies Registration Act 1860
Q4. Is it necessary that the society maintains its books?
Yes, it is necessary that proper books of account with respect to:
- All sums of money received and expended by the society and the matters
- Respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes place;
- All sales and purchases of goods by the society; and
- The assets and liabilities of the society
The charitable organization can maintain books of accounts from the following three methods of accounting:
- Cash Basis of Accounting
- Accrual Basis of accounting
- Hybrid/Mixed basis of Accounting
Q5. Should Balance sheet and annual list of governing body be filed with registrar?
Yes, Balance sheet and annual list of governing body after dedicated auditing have to be filed with the registrar by 14th day succeeding the day on which the annual general meeting of a society is held.
Q6. How can Wazzeer help in this matter?
We at Wazzeer are young entrepreneurs just like you with a bigger vision to transform the industry, precisely speaking we things simple.
You would get access to a pool of professionals who have worked in this field that have a minimum of 5 years’ experience.
We provide a clear quotation, no hidden charges. As we kick start, you see the updates real time. The ball is on your court all the time. So, let’s connect -> “Get your Wazzeer”