Society Registration

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Procedure for Society Registration in India

A Society is a not-for-profit entity engaged in the promotion of charitable activities like education, art, religion, culture, music and sports, etc. A society is thus an association of persons determined to act jointly for some common purpose. In India, Societies Registration Act, 1860 lays down the procedure for registration of societies and the same has been adopted by State Governments with/without amendments. In this article, we look at the need and procedure for registering a Society.

Overview

A Society is an entity formed for the promotion of literature, science or the fine arts or the diffusion of useful knowledge/political education or for charitable purposes. As per the Societies Registration Act, 1860, a Society can be registered for the following purposes:

  • Grant of charitable assistance
  • Creation of military orphan funds
  • Promotion of:
    • Science, Literature, Fine Arts
    • Instruction or diffusion of useful knowledge, Diffusion of political education
    • Foundation and maintenance of libraries or reading rooms
    • Foundation and maintenance of public museum and galleries

In addition to the above purposes, based on the Societies Registration Act that is amended and implemented by the respective State Government, the purposes for which a Society can be registered in India may vary.

A society can either be registered or unregistered. The registration of a Society gives the Society a legal status and is required for recognition of the society by legal authorities, obtaining income tax registrations, bank account opening and vesting of property.

Requirements for Society Registration

A Society can be registered for any of the above mentioned purposes that are not-for-profit by a minimum of seven or more persons. Besides individuals, a company or partnership firm or registered society or a foreigner may also be eligible to form a society by subscribing to the Memorandum of a Society.

The Memorandum of a Society or Memorandum of Association of a Society is a document which lays down the objects and permitted activities of the Society. The Memorandum of Association of a Society must contain the name of the society, objects of the society, details of the members of the governing body and registered office address.

Procedure for Society Registration

Procedure for Society Registration
Infographic: Procedure for Society Registration

To register a society, the rules for Society Registration in the State in which the registered office of the Society is going to be situated must first be reviewed. A suitable name, objects for the society and registered office must then be decided by the persons proposing to form a society (a minimum of seven persons are required). Once decided, a legal professional can draft the Memorandum of Association for the Society and have all the members of the society sign on each page of the Memorandum, witnessed by a Notary Public. Further, the Rules and Regulation of the Society must be signed by atleast three members of the governing body.

Once, the above documents are prepared and signed, it can be filed along with other requisite documents to the Registrar of Societies or other concerned authority in the State – responsible for Society Registration. On reviewing the application for society registration, the Registrar can then approve the Society registration or request for additional details, if required. On registration, the certified copies of the MOA and Rules & Regulations of the Society serve as the prima-facie evidence of the Registration of the Society.

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