An overview of National Society Registration

National Society Registration Online
Dashmeet Kaur
| Updated: Mar 29, 2020 | Category: NGO

Our nation has become ruthless; it requires compassion, benevolence and charitable deed for its well-being. One such Establishment that emphasizes on the advancement of Religion, Art, Literature, Science, Education, Sports and other charitable activities is a Society. It is an association of individuals who voluntarily collaborate to flourish a common objective. A Society is regulated under the Society Registration Act, 1860. The Act aims to legitimize the activities carried by the Societies and bring uniformity in their operations. This document will provide an insight into the National Society Registration.

Importance of National Society Registration

Section 20 of Societies Registration Act, 1860 defines the fundamental purposes to incorporate a Society: 

  • To grant charitable assistance;
  • Create Military Orphan funds;
  • Promote Science, Literature & Fine Arts;
  • Diffuse or promote Political Education and useful knowledge; 
  • Foundation and maintenance of Reading Rooms or Libraries, Galleries or Public Museum;

In addition to the objectives mentioned above prescribed by Societies Registration Act, 1860, a National Society Registration can be done for other reasons as well, based on the amendments enacted to the Act by the concerned State Government.

Also, Read: What are the Guidelines for Registration of a Society?

Requisites to register a Society in India 

There are some pivotal requirements for National Society Registration which are mentioned below:

  • At least seven members or more individuals must come together to form a Society in India.
  • Foreigners, Companies and even other Registered Societies can subscribe themselves for the Memorandum of a Society.
  • Since the State Government maintains Society Registration, so the applicant must file an Application to the specific Authority of a State wherein the Registered Office that the Society is situated.
  • The members must mutually deliberate and decide the name of a Society. Therefore, they shall prepare the Memorandum which must include rules & regulations of the Society.
  • Similar to a Partnership Firm, a Society can be registered or unregistered. However, only Registered Societies can avail legal protection and other advantages granted by the Government.

Documents Required for National Society Registration

Documentation plays a vital part in the Registration procedure of a Society. Take a look at the essential documents which an applicant must affix with the Application: 

  • PAN card of each member of the proposed Society;
  • A Residential proof of all the members must be submitted like Aadhaar card,  Utility Bill, Passport, Bank Statement, Driving License etc.;
  • Prepare and provide two copies of MOA (Memorandum of Association) that must entail information and clauses as follows: 
    • Objectives and work plan of the proposed Society.
    • Complete details of the members who are establishing the Society.
    • Address of the Registered Office of the proposed Society.
  • The applicant also has to prepare AOA (Articles of Association), which must contain:
    • Rules & regulations that shall govern the proposed Society and responsible to maintain daily activities.
    • Rules for taking the membership of a Society, Office Bearer details, source of income, Election norms, Audit Compliance.
    • Provisions for Society’s meetings and the frequency to hold the Meeting. 
    • Detailed information about the Auditors.
    • Forms of Arbitration if any dispute incurs between the members of the proposed Society.
    • AOA must notify about the ways for Society’s dissolution.

Note: The rules can be reset or modified but the new set of rules must be signed by the President, Vice President, Secretary and Chairman of the Society.

  • 2 copies of Society Bye-laws;
  • Provide a Covering Letter stating the purpose or objective for which the Society is being formed which has to be signed by all the Founders of the proposed Society. Affix the Covering Letter with the Application;
  • A copy of Address proof of the Registered Office where the proposed Society shall be located with a NOC from the Landlord (if any);
  • A list of all the members has to be given along with their signatures;
  • Declaration by the President of the Society, proclaiming that he/she is willing and efficient to hold the said post.

Who can Apply for Society Registration?

Society Registration Act, 1860 has set a list of candidates who are eligible for Society Registration. Minimum 7 or more members are required to create a Society. Following are the members who can enroll for the Memorandum of a Society:

  • Foreigners or a non-resident of India
  • Partnership Firm
  • Limited Company
  • Registered Societies
  • A minor (below the age of 18 years) is not eligible
  • Foreign & Indian Companies

Procedure for National Society Registration

Follow the simple steps mentioned of procedure below to register a Society in India:

  • Selection of Name: The first thing that an applicant has to do is to choose a unique name for his/her Society. The name must be selected with the consent of all the members; also it must not infringe or violate an existing Society’s name or trademark.  The Society’s name must abide by the Emblem and Names Act, 1950. To ensure the uniqueness of the name, the President of the proposed Society shall have to file an affidavit which states that the name is not similar to any other NGO.
  • Draft MOA and By-Laws: As mentioned earlier, the Memorandum of Association must specify the central object behind incorporating the Society. While By-Laws will determine the internal affairs of the proposed Society such as powers & responsibilities of the President, Secretary, a quorum of Meetings, etc.
  • Submission of the documents: Now submit the Application with a signed MOA, Affidavits, By-Laws and KYC documents of the members to the Registrar of Societies.
  • Verification: Registrar will verify the authenticity of the provided documents. If he gets satisfied with the Application and documents, he will then issue the Certificate of Registration of Society.
  • Apply for PAN & TAN: Once registered as a National Society; the next step is to file an Application for the allotment of PAN and TAN.
  • Open a Bank Account: Open a bank account in name of the newly Registered Society for the collection of subscription charges or donations (as suitable) and membership fees.

Advantages availed by a Registered Society

A Registered Society yield several perks facilitated by the State Governments as below:

  • Society gets entitled as a legal entity.
  • It enables the Society to sell, rent, buy or lease. 
  • The membership of a Society may change, but it will sustain to be a separate entity.
  • A Registered Society can avail the benefit of Income Tax exemption. 
  • In case of debts, the members of a Society shall be obligated to pay the debts.
  • After Registration, the Society can easily open the bank account on its name.
  • It helps the Society to gain recognition in front of Forums and Authorities.


Society works diligently for the promotion of Science, Literary, Art, Education, Sports or charitable works. Such NGO plays a dominant role in the evolution, growth and advancement of India.

If you also need legal support in undertaking the process of National Society Registration, consult Swarit Advisors. We have an experienced team of Lawyers and CAs who can help in drafting the Memorandum of Association of your Society. We can also guide you about things which you must consider while choosing your Society’s name.

Also, Read: Is Cooperative Society Registration Compulsory?


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