Incorporation of society under Societies Registration Act ,1860

A group of seven or more persons are entitled to register an organization under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 to form a society. Such organization should be for any literary, scientific or charitable purposes. Section 20 describes in detail the purposes for which a voluntary organization can be registered. The founders/ subscribers have to prepare a memorandum of association and the bye-laws and to file the same with the Registrar of Societies.

In addition to the Societies Registration Act, 1860, various States of India have framed their respective Act and Rules. Registration is done by the State Governments in whose territories the organization is located. Subject to the minor procedural variations between various States of India, an organization can be registered in any district of India, with the Assistant Registrar of Societies of that particular district. To have state-wide jurisdiction, it is desirable to register the organization with the Registrar of Societies of the respective States.

Formation of society is relatively simple, it may take 1-2 months to complete the whole registration procedure.

Eligibility Criteria to Form a Society:

Apart from individuals, the following persons are also eligible for subscribing to the memorandum of the society:

  • Foreigners: foreigners can subscribe to the memorandum of the society.
  • Partnership firm: The position of Partnership firm regarding its eligibility to subscribe to the memorandum of the society is not clear from provisions of the Partnership Act,1932 or Societies Registration Act, 1860 or any other judicial decision. However, simple analogy can be drawn by keeping in view the provisions of Companies Act, 2013 which permits a partnership firm to become a member of a Section 8 company and provides that the firm may be a member of any association or company registered under the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013. However, on dissolution of the firm, the membership of the firm to such an association or company will lapse. Therefore, drawing a parallel from the above, we may deduce that a partnership firm may subscribe to the memorandum of society.
  • Limited company: Company can subscribe to the memorandum of society.
  • Registered society: A registered society can subscribe to memorandum of association of proposed society.

Procedure of Society Registration:

Step 1: Selection of Unique Name

Step 2: Preparation of Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association.

Step 3: Submit the Required Documents and the application Form.

Step 1: Name Selection

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

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.

Name is generally granted if available. No need of a separate application for approval of name.

Step 2: Preparation of Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations

The Memorandum of Association along with Rules & Regulations of society must be prepared and signed by every establishing member, witness by Gazetted Officer, Notary Public, Oath Commissioner, Advocate, Magistrate first class, or Chartered Accountant with their official stamping and complete address. The Memorandum of Association must also contain details of members of the society along with their names, addresses, designations, and occupations.

Memorandum of Association has to be prepared which will contain the following clauses and information:

  • The work and the objectives of the society for which it is being established
  • The details of the members forming the society
  • It will contain the address of the registered office of the society.

Articles of Association/ Rules and Regulations also have to be prepared which will contain the following information:

  • Rules and regulations by which the working of the society will be governed and the maintenance of day to day activities.
  • It will contain the rules for taking the membership of the society.
  • The details about the meetings of the society and the frequency with which they are going to be held is to be mentioned.
  • Information about the Auditors.
  • Forms of Arbitration in case of any dispute between the members of the society.
  • Ways for the dissolution of the society will also be mentioned.

Once the rules have been formed, they can be changed but the new set of rules will be signed by the President, Chairman, Vice President and the Secretary of the Society.

Step 3: Documents to be furnished for Registration

The following documents must be prepared, signed and submitted for Society Registration:

  • Memorandum of Association along with a certified copy, signed by all the subscribers. No stamp paper required for Memorandum & Articles of Association.
  • Bye-laws or the Rules & Regulations along with a certified copy of the same.
  • Affidavit on non-judicial stamp paper sworn by the President/Secretary. The affidavit should be attested by an Executive Magistrate or Notary Public.
  • Documentary evidence of the premises of the registered office, like house tax receipt or rent receipt. A no objection certificate from the landlord should also be furnished.
  • A covering letter along with the requisite fees, requesting the Registrar for registration. The fees payable range between Rs. 50 to Rs. 25,000 in various States. The exact amount payable should be verified from the local registering authority.
  • 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.

Cost of Registration:

The registration fees in case of Society vary according to the State in which it is going to be established. It may costs 10k to 30k varying from state to state to register a society.

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