How to Start and Register an NGO in various cities of India?
Social work is a passion. So much so that a lot of high profile people simply quite their high paying jobs and start up an NGO to help those who are living a not so good life. In order to start with your social work, you would have to get an NGO registered in India.
Now the next part is that registering an NGO in India is not really an easy affair altogether. There are certain rules and regulations laid down by Government of India under which NGOs in India have to work and they all should be registered in order to get help from national and international funding organizations.
How to start an NGO in India?
- Identify your goals, vision and mission. You, as a group should be aware of what you actually want to do and who would be your target population, whom you want to serve.
- Create a governing body for your NGO. This governing body would be responsible for various activities and decision making taking place in your organization. A governing body helps to decentralize the day to day chores and brings productivity. Governing body is also required to register your NGO with Government of India.
- Formulate a ByLaws/Memorandum of Understanding or a Trust Deed, as it may deem fit. It should comprise of the name and address of your Non Government Organization and should detail its objective along with the staffing and human resource management your NGO would require. The administrative laws and procedures followed by the NGO should be well drafted within the Trust Deed.
- Choose to register your NGO among any of the following acts:
- Indian Trusts Act:
- Societies Registration Act
- Companies Act
- Raising Funds: This aspect is quite important since it would decide the course and extent of action for the NGO. An NGO should start raising funds through sales, membership fee, donations, etc. Before or after the NGO is registered, depending upon the nature of objective it is serving, it can also get funding from grants-in-aids from any government or private institution.
- Building your professional network: If you want to get funds so that you can do social work for the needy people, you need to build a good professional network. This could be achieved through effective awareness through social media and other modes of networking.
The general process and details of NGO Registration in India
We have already discussed in our section above that an NGO in India can be registered under three different acts, i.e. companies act, societies act and trust act. We will discuss the general process followed throughout India in registering an NGO within these acts.
As a matter fact, registration under any of these acts would get the same treatment and benefits in terms of tax exemptions or any other rebates.
Registration of NGO under Trust Act
Legislation: The legislation which governs the trust depends and varies from state to state. A charitable trust is often in picture where there is a land or property involved. Registration under Trust Act is governed by the Indian Trusts Act, 1882.
The Main Instrument
In every charitable trust, the main instrument is the Trust Deed. The trust deed should clearly mention the minimum and maximum number of trustees involved. The trust deed should specially envisage on who would be managing what within the charitable trust. It should also clarify the objectives and aims of the trust in a clear manner. The process adopted by the charitable trust and the provisions made within the trust including that of elimination and addition of trustee member should also be included.
The Trustees: A minimum of two founding trustees are required for formation of a charitable trust. The maximum limit of trustees is infinite. There should be a board of management of the charitable trust that should include all its member trustees.
Registration Application: The application for registration of trust should be submitted to the concerned official who has the jurisdiction over the area where the trust is going to be registered. The application should follow an affixed court fee stamp of Rs 2 on the form and a registration fee of Rs 3 to Rs 25 (varying from jurisdiction to jurisdiction) should be paid.
Each member of the charitable trust should sign the application and present an affidavit and consent letter along with the application form.
Registration of NGO under Societies Act
The registration of a Society NGO in India is government the Societies Registration Act, 1860. All the types of societies mentioned as following can be registered under the act.
- Military orphan funds
- Charitable societies
- Societies established for promotion of science, fine arts or literature
- Societies established for diffusion of useful knowledge and political education
- Any other society pertaining to natural history, art, painting, public museums, philosophical inventions, etc.
Legislation: there are few states within which the societies have to be registered under the Societies Act as well as under the Bombay Public Trust Act.
Trustees: if you want to register a society under the societies act, your NGO should have at least a minimum of seven members in the managing committee. There is no cap on the maximum number of trustees. These governing members would form an executive committee or a council that would take care of the running of the NGO.
Application for Registration: The registration of societies can be either done at district level or the state level. At district level, the office of District Magistrate or if there is a Registrar of Societies deals with the registration process. At state level, there is an office of the Registrar or Societies which deals with the registration of societies.
It is noteworthy to mention here that the procedure for registration of NGOs under societies act may vary from state to state.
Documents Required: Depending upon the legislations of state to state, following are set of general documents that would be required along with application at the time of registering NGO under societies act:
- A declaration by all the constituting members of the managing committee that all funds generated under the institution would be used only for the core objectives of the society and for nothing else.
- Memorandum of association and regulations and rules
- An authority letter signed by each member of the managing committee
- Consent letter from each member of the managing committee
Registration of NGO under Companies Act, 1956
As per the Companies Act, 1956 of Government of India, a company can be formed for promotion of commerce, religion, art, science, charity or for any other useful purpose, provided that the profits or any income earned throughout the process would be further used for the activities of the company and for no other purposes.
Main Instrument: The Memorandum and Articles of Association serves as the main instrument in registration of an NGO under the Companies Act. Stamp papers are not compulsory in registration of NGO under companies act.
Trustees under Companies Act: the maximum number of trustees should be any. But there should be at least three member trustees while registering the NGO under companies act. They should together form a company including various positions under Board of Directors and Managing Committee.
Application and Process for Registration:
- In the first place, the applicant must apply for a name of the company. This application should be made to the registrar of companies in form no. 1A and should accompany a fee of Rs 500. If you are applying for a name, you should suggest three more option, so that the next option is allocated, if the primary option is not available.
- Once the name is available, a written application is addressed to the regional director of the company law board. Following documents should be attached with the application:
- Three copies of memorandum and articles of association
- A declaration by a working chartered accountant or an advocate that the memorandum has been draft in conformity with the provisions mentioned in the companies act.
- Three copies of the promoters profile including names, addresses and occupations of each promoter
- A detailed statement of assets and liabilities of the association coupled with an estimation of future annual income and proposed expenses of the company. It should also specify the sources from where the income would come and where the expenses would be involved
- Each member would declare that they have a sound mind and are not undischarged solvents. They should also declare that they are not convicted by any court.
The registration of an NGO within any of the three acts in India varies a little from state to state. However, the processes and procedures mentioned above would remain the same, more or less. For specific information for NGO registration in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, etc., you can check the respective legislation’s website.
The processes involved for registering an NGO in India are a little cumbersome for any common man. Hence, we always recommend that you get in touch with an able CA or advocate who can get the documentation part ready for you and can consult you throughout the process.