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The Ultimate Guide to NGO Registration in India: Step-by-Step Instructions and Tips

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) play a crucial role in India's social, economic, and environmental development. However, to operate legally and effectively, NGOs must be registered with the government. In this article, we'll provide a comprehensive guide on how to register an NGO in India and why it's important. Why is Registering an NGO Important?

  1. Legal Identity: Registering an NGO gives it a legal identity and makes it a legal entity. This means that the NGO can enter into contracts, open bank accounts, and receive donations.

  2. Eligibility for Government Schemes and Grants: Registered NGOs are eligible for various government schemes and grants. Many government schemes require NGOs to be registered under one of the Acts mentioned below to be eligible for funding.

  3. Transparency and Accountability: NGOs that are registered must maintain proper records and submit annual reports to the concerned government authorities. This helps ensure transparency and accountability in the NGO's operations.

  4. Credibility: Registration involves a thorough verification process, which helps build trust with donors and beneficiaries. This can help the NGO attract more donations and support, which is crucial for its sustainability and growth.

How to Register an NGO in India?

There are three Acts under which an NGO can be registered in India:

  1. The Societies Registration Act, 1860

  2. The Trusts Act, 1882

  3. The Companies Act, 2013


1. The Societies Registration Act, 1860: This Act is applicable to charitable societies, literary societies, scientific societies, and any other societies that promote art, culture, education, or charity.


To register an NGO under this Act, follow these steps:

  • Choose a unique name for your society and check if it's available.

  • Prepare the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and the Rules and Regulations (Bye-Laws) of the society.

  • Gather signatures of at least seven members of the society.

  • Submit the application, along with the required documents and fees, to the Registrar of Societies in your state.

  • Once the documents are verified, the Registrar will issue a certificate of registration.


2. The Trusts Act, 1882: This Act is applicable to public charitable trusts that promote social, educational, religious, or other similar objectives.


To register an NGO under this Act, follow these steps:

  • Choose a unique name for your trust and check if it's available.

  • Prepare the Trust Deed, which should include the name and objectives of the trust, the trustees, and the rules for the administration of the trust.

  • Register the Trust Deed with the Sub-Registrar of Assurances in your state.

  • Once the Trust Deed is registered, the trustees can open a bank account and start operating the trust.


3. The Companies Act, 2013: This Act is applicable to Section 8 companies, which are companies that promote charitable or social objectives and do not intend to earn profits.


To register an NGO under this Act, follow these steps:

  • Choose a unique name for your company and check if it's available.

  • Prepare the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and the Articles of Association (AOA) of the company, which should include the name and objectives of the company, the rules for the management and administration of the company, and the names of the first directors and subscribers.

  • Apply for a name approval and obtain a digital signature certificate (DSC) for the proposed directors.

  • File the incorporation application with the Registrar of Companies (ROC), along with the required documents and fees.

  • Once the incorporation application is verified, the ROC will issue a Certificate of Incorporation.

Additional Registrations and Licenses

Apart from the registration under one of the Acts mentioned above, an NGO may also require the following registrations and licenses:

  1. 12A Registration: This registration is required to avail of tax exemptions on donations and income. To obtain 12A registration, the NGO must submit Form 10A to the Commissioner of Income Tax within one year of its registration.

  2. 80G Registration: This registration is required to enable donors to claim tax deductions on donations made to the NGO. To obtain 80G registration, the NGO must submit Form 10G to the Commissioner of Income Tax.

  3. FCRA Registration: This registration is required if the NGO intends to receive foreign contributions. To obtain FCRA registration, the NGO must submit Form FC-8 to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Conclusion

Registering an NGO in India is a crucial step in ensuring its legal identity, credibility, and eligibility for government schemes and grants. The process of registration can seem daunting, but by following our comprehensive guide, you can successfully register your NGO under one of the Acts and obtain the necessary registrations and licenses. Don't forget to maintain proper records and submit annual reports to the concerned authorities to ensure transparency and accountability in your NGO's operations.


Get in touch with our experts at info@gobizlab.com if you're planning to launch an NGO.


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