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What are the Guidelines for Registration of a Society?

Guidelines for registration of a Society
Japsanjam Kaur Wadhera
| Updated: Jan 30, 2021 | Category: Society

The Society Registration Act, 1860 was introduced to lay down rules and regulations regarding the registration procedure of societies and its operation in India. According to the Society Registration Act a society is defined as an association of persons united together by mutual consent to deliberate, determine and act together for a common purpose. The purpose of forming a society is to promote charitable activities like art, culture, education, sports, music, religion and etc. This article will provide you with the full information regarding what are the guidelines for registration of society in India.

Guidelines for registration of a Society

What is a Society

A society is a form of an NGO and is formulated by the group of people who come together to promote a common cause without any monetary gains.

Society Formation

According to the Society Registration Act, 1860[1], any seven or more persons associated for any scientific, literary or charitable purpose may, by subscribing their names to a Memorandum of Association (MOA) and filing the same with the registrar of societies form themselves as a Society.

The Memorandum of Association must contain the following components: –

  • Name of the members of the governing body.
  • Name, address and area of the society’s registered office.
  • Names and objectives of the promoters.

All the other documents consisting rules regarding the termination of the members, meetings of the society and etc. is also required to be submitted.

What is the purpose for the registration of a society?

According to section 20 of the Societies Act, 1860 registration of a society is done for the following purposes: –

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

Registration of a Society

Registration of a Society is governed by the State Government and therefore, the application for registration of a Society must be made to the specific authorities of the state where the registered office of the society is situated.

For the registration of a society, the establishing members first must agree with the name of the society and then prepare for the Memorandum of Association followed by the rules and regulations of the society.

Registration of a Society

Choose or Select an appropriate name

It is important for society while selecting or choosing a name for society registration, to not use a similar or an identical name of a currently registered or already existing society. The Society Registration Act 1860 prohibits the using of identical or similar names. Further, the name should not suggest any patronage of state government or the government of India or should not come under the restricted list of name under the provisions of Emblem & Names Act, 1950.

Memorandum of Association

The Memorandum of Association (MOA) represents the charter of the Society. It specifies the purpose and objectives for which a society is formed. The Memorandum of Association along with the rules and regulations of the society must be signed by every establishing member, Notary Public, Advocate, Chartered Accountant, Oath Commissioner, witness by Gazetted Officer, Magistrate of First Class or Chartered Accountant with their complete address and official stamping. The MOA must contain the objective, name and address of the society and must consist details of the members of the society such as name, address, occupation and designation.

What are the documents required for the registration of a Society?

The below mentioned documents are required for the registration of a society: –

  • PAN Card of all the members of the society along with the application is required to be submitted.
  • The Proof of Residence of all the members. It includes the Aadhar card, passport, driving license or utility bill.
  • The Memorandum of Association (MOA) drafted, which contains the clauses and information such as the details of the members of the society, work and objective of the society for which it is formed and the address of the registered office of the society.
  • Articles of Association (AOA) that is, the rules and regulations of the society is also required to be prepared which consists information such as: – rules and regulations regarding which the society will be governed and the maintenance of everyday activity, rules to take the membership of the society, details regarding the meetings of the society and the frequency by which it is going to be held, Auditors information, in case of any dispute between the members of the society a form of Arbitration that is required and the ways in which the dissolution of the society will take place.

Once the rules are formed they can be changes, however, the new set of rules will be signed by the President, Vice President, Chairman and the Secretary of the Society.

  • A cover letter stating the purpose or the objective for which the society is established will be annexed to the beginning of the application. The letter will be signed by all the founding members of the society.
  • A copy of the Address proof where the registered office of the society is located along with the No objection Certificate (NOC) from the landlord if any is required to be attached.
  • List of all the members of the governing body is required to be provided along with their signature.
  • A declaration to be given by the president of the society that he is competent and willing to hold the said post.

All the above documents are required to be submitted to the Registrar of Societies along with the requisite fees in 2 copies. The Registrar shall sign the first copy as acknowledgement and give it back, while keeping the second copy for approval. The Registrar shall issue an Incorporation Certificate by allotting a registration number, after properly vetting the documents carefully.

The signed rules and regulations as well as the Memorandum of Association are required to be filed with the Registrar of the State or the concerned society with the prescribed fee. If the registrar is satisfied with the society registration application, it will certify that the society is registered.


The registration of a society is done under the Society Registration Act, 1860 to operate legally like an institution in India. The purpose to form a society is to promote social welfare among its members and achieve the common objective for which it is formed. The guidelines for registration of a society in India are discussed above in the article and it must be done in accordance with the rules and regulation of the Society Registration Act.

Also, Read: What is the Purpose of Society Registration?

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Japsanjam Kaur Wadhera

Japsanjam Kaur Wadhera is an Advocate and has completed her BA.LLB (Hons) and has experience of writing various research papers during her college time. Earlier she was working as an Associate Advocate in a reputed Law Firm. She has an extreme interest in writing legal content and her core area falls under legal enactments, tax and finance.

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