How To Go About Society Registrations In India: All You Need To Know

14 Dec 2020

Society refers to a group of individuals who form an organization to work for the community. Societies can be in the form of charitable institutions working in sports, music, culture, religion, art, education, and so on. For these societies to function effectively in the community, they need to be officially registered with the government. This is mandated by The Society Registration Act.

In this article, we will cover everything there is to know about this act and what all you need for properly registering your society.

What is the Society Registration Act?

In India, the Society registration Act dictates certain procedures that need to be addressed for the registration and operation of a society. This act was legislated to regulate the opening of societies and institutions that hope to work for the betterment of society. The act lays down the legal stipulations required to register institutions that want to work in the fields of literature, art, science, sports, and other charitable issues.

The act was developed with the hope that new societies and community institutions will disseminate knowledge and development of arts, sciences, and charitable purposes. Section 20 of the Society Registration Act stipulates the following issues under which an organization, group, or institution can be registered as a society:

  • Promotion of fine arts
  • Diffusion of political education
  • Grant of charitable assistance
  • Promotion of science and literature
  • Creation of military orphan funds
  • Maintenance or foundation of galleries or public museum
  • Maintenance or foundation of reading rooms or libraries
  • Promotion or diffusion or instruction of useful knowledge
  • Collections of natural history
  • Collections of mechanical and philosophical inventions, designs, or instruments

How Do I Register Under The Society Act?

According to the act, a society can be created with a minimum of 7 members and more. Other than Indians, foreign nationals, companies, and registered societies can be named in the Memorandum of Association of the society. Societies can operate as registered or unregistered organizations; however, a society must be registered to own properties and assets.

Under the law, society registrations are handled and maintained by state law. Therefore, the application process will begin with the local state authorities, either via their online portal or their physical offices in the secretariat.

Before the registration of the society, the founding members need to agree on the following:

  • The name of the society
  • The memorandum
  • Rules and regulations of the society

Selecting A Name

While selecting a name for the society is the easiest part of the entire registration process, there are still some important rules and guidelines you need to keep in mind for it. According to the Society Act 1860, the new society cannot have an identical or similar name to an already registered society.

Also, the proposed name should not have any affiliation or connection to the Government of India or state government, as stipulated by the provisions of the Emblem and names Act of 1950.

Memorandum Of Association And Rules And Regulations

The memorandum of Associations and the rules and regulations are two documents that need to be signed by all the establishing or founding members of the society, and witnessed by a Gazetted Officer, Notary Public, Advocate, Chartered Accountant, or any such officer.

A memorandum of association is an important document that consists of the following details:

  • The name of the society
  • The objective of the society
  • The names of the founding members of the society, with their address designation and occupation details

List of all the necessary documents required before beginning the registration process:

  • The society has to create a cover letter that is signed by all the founding members.
  • Duplicate copies of the Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations, signed by all the founding members
  • Address proof and No Objection Certified signed by the landowner for the location where the society will be set up
  • An affidavit made by the secretary or president of the society that declares the relationship among the members
  • Minutes of any meetings organized to decide the name and society registration documents.

Rules and regulations refer to a document that lists the following details:

  • How the society is going to govern itself, as well its day to day activities.
  • Rules and requirements for membership to the society.
  • Details about society meetings, frequency of these meetings, and their location.
  • Information about the auditing authorities.
  • How to arbitrate if there is a disagreement between members of the society.
  • What steps to take in case society is to be dissolved.

Once the document is ready and approved by all the members of the society, it is signed by all the main office bearers: The President, Vice President, and Secretary of the society.

Other Important Documents Required For Registering A Society In India

Following is a list of all the legal documents you need other than the MOA and rules regulations for setting up a society in India:

  • All members of the proposed society need to submit their Pan Card and a photocopy
  • A copy of residence proof is required from all the members of society. This can be a bank statement, Adhaar card, Passport, Driving License, and utility bills.
  • A cover letter that states the objective and intent behind founding a society. This is to be annexed at the beginning of the application and signed by all the founding members of the society
  • List of all the governing body members
  • A declaration by the president of the society that reflects his consent to lead the society they are founding.

Once all these documents are ready, the members need to apply, along with two copies and the fees at the Registrar of Societies. The registrar signs the first copy of the application as an acknowledgment, and the second is kept for approval. After proper vetting of the documents, the registrar's office can declare a society to be certified by the government.

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