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Society Registration

Need to register a Society?

Society Registration Starting at Just Rs.14,499/- (Inclusive of all Govt. Fees).

Society Registration

According to section 20 of the Societies Registration Act, 1860, the following societies can be registered under the Act: ‘charitable societies, military orphan funds or societies established at the several presidencies of India, societies established for the promotion of science, literature, or the fine arts, for instruction, the diffusion of useful knowledge, the diffusion of political education, the foundation or maintenance of libraries or reading rooms for general use among the members or open to the public, or public museums and galleries of paintings and other works of art, collection of natural history, mechanical and philosophical inventions, instruments or designs.’

Societies are registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, which is a federal act. In certain states, which have a charity commissioner, the society must not only be registered under the Societies Registration Act, but also, additionally, under the Bombay Public Trusts Act.

The main instrument of any society is the memorandum of association and rules and regulations (no stamp paper required), wherein the aims and objects and mode of management (of the society) should be enshrined.


A Society needs a minimum of seven managing committee members; there is no upper limit to the number managing committee members. The Board of Management is in the form of a governing body or council or a managing or executive committee

Registration can be done either at the state level (i.e., in the office of the Registrar of Societies) or at the district level (in the office of the District Magistrate or the local office of the Registrar of Societies).

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Society Registration – Purposes

A Society can be formed for the promotion of literature, science or fine arts or the diffusion of useful knowledge or political education or for charitable purposes. As per Section 20 of the Societies Act, 1860, a Society can be registered for the following purposes:

  • Grant of charitable assistance.
  • Creation of Military Orphan funds.
  • Promotion of Science.
  • Promotion of Literature.
  • Promotion of Fine Arts.
  • Promotion or Instruction or Diffusion of useful Knowledge.
  • Diffusion of Political Education.
  • Foundation or maintenance of libraries or reading rooms.
  • Foundation or maintenance of Public Museum or Galleries.

In addition to the above purposes specified by the Societies Act, 1860, a Society can also be registered for other purposes based on the amendment that has been enacted to the Societies Act, 1860 by the concerned State Government.

Societies Act, 1860

The Societies Registration Act, 1860 was introduced with the aim of improving the legal conditions of society’s registration for promotion of literature, science or fine arts or for diffusion of useful knowledge for charitable purposes. The Societies Registration Act, 1860 has been adopted by most of the State Governments with/without further amendments.

Steps

  1. The first Step is to get 10 Individuals together who are desirous of forming a Society.
  2. A Provisional Committee should be formed and a chief Promoter should be elected from amongst them.
  3. A Name for the Society has to be selected.
  4. An Application has to be made to the Registration Authority for reservation of Name and a letter to that effect has to be obtained confirming the reservation of Name. The name once reserved is valid for 3 Months.
  5. The entrance fees and share capital has to be collected from the prospective members.
  6. A Bank account has to be opened in the name of the proposed society as per the directions of the registration Authority. The entrance fees and share money has to be deposited in the bank account and the certificate from the bank has to be obtained in that respect.
  7. The registration fees has to be deposited with the Reserve Bank of India and receipted 1challan thereof is to be obtained.
  8. The application for registration of the society should be submitted to the Registrar of Societies of the concerned municipal ward. The documents to be submitted for registration are as follows:
    • Form No. A in quadruplicate signed by 90% of the promoter members
    • List of promoter members
    • Bank Certificate
    • Detailed explanation of working of the society.
    • 4 copies of proposed bye-laws of the society.
    • Proof of payment of registration charges.
    • Other documents like affidavits, indemnity bonds, any documents specified by the Registrar also have to be submitted.
  9. The Registrar will enter the particulars in register of application maintained in Form “B” and give serial number and issue receipt in acknowledgment of the same.
  10. On registration, the Registrar will notify the registration of the Society in the Official Gazette and issue Registration Certificate.

Memorandum of a Society

The Memorandum of the Society and the Rules and Regulations of the Society must then be signed by each of the founding members, witnessed by an Oath Commissioner, Notary Public, Gazetted Officer, Advocate, Chartered Accountant or Magistrate 1st Class with their official stamp and complete address. The following documents must be prepared, signed and submitted for Society Registration:

  • Covering letter requesting registration of the Society, signed by all founding members.
  • Memorandum of Association of the Society in duplicate along with a certified copy.
  • Rules and Regulations of the Society in duplicate along with a duplicate, duly signed by the founding members.
  • Affidavit sworn by the President or Secretary of the Society stating relationship between the subscribers.
  • Address proof for the registered office of the Society and No-Objection Certificate from the Landlord.

The signed Memorandum and Rules and Regulations must then be filed with the concerned Registrar of Societies in the State with the prescribed fee. If the Registrar is satisfied with application for Society Registration, the Registrar would certify to deem the Society to be registered.

Society Registration in India

A Society can be formed by a minimum of seven or more persons. Besides persons from India, foreigners, companies and other registered societies can subscribe to the Memorandum of a society. Like Partnership Firms, Societies can also be registered or unregistered. However, only registered Societies can hold vested properties and/or have a suit filed by or against the Society.

Society registration is managed by State Governments. Therefore, the application for registration of society must be made to the concerned authority in the State, in which the registered office of the Society will be situated.

To register a Society, the founding members must first agree on a name for the Society and prepare the Memorandum and Rules and Regulations of the Society.

Society Registration – Name Selection

While choosing a name for the society, it is important to remember that as per Societies Act, 1860, similar or identical name of an existing registered society is not permitted. Further the proposed name for the society must also not suggest patronage of the Government of India or any State Government or attract the provisions of Emblem and Names Act, 1950.

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Comparison among Trust, Society and Non-profit Company


Trust Society Section-8 Company
Statute/Legislation Relevant State Trust Act or Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950 Societies Registration Act, 1860 Indian Companies Act, 2013
Jurisdiction Deputy Registrar/Charity commissioner Registrar of societies (charity commissioner in Maharashtra). Registrar of companies
Registration As trust As Society In Maharashtra, both as a society and as a trust As a company u/s 8 of the Indian Companies Act.
Registration Document Trust deed Memorandum of association and rules and regulations Memorandum and articles of association. and regulations
Stamp Duty Trust deed to be executed on non-judicial stamp paper, vary from state to state No stamp paper required for memorandum of association and rules and regulations. No stamp paper required for memorandum and articles of association.
Members Required Minimum – two trustees. No upper limit. Minimum – seven managing committee members. No upper limit. Minimum three Members. No upper limit.
Board of Management Trustees / Board of Trustees Governing body or council/managing or executive committee Board of directors/ Managing committee
Mode of Succession on Board of Management Appointment or Election Appointment or Election by members of the general body Election by members of the general body

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