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Society Registration

The Society Registration Act

The Society Registration Act augments the legal stipulations of society registration in India. This article aims to bring forward all the details regarding this Act, including the procedure and documents required to register as a society under the Act.

Let us begin with the basic definition of Society. A Society is described to be an association of several individuals who come together using a mutual accord for deliberating, governing, and acting in cooperation for a communal purpose. People register societies for the advancement of charitable activities such as music, religion, art, education, sports and culture. 

The Society Registration Act lays down guidelines and procedures for the registration and operation of societies in India. The major purpose of this Act is to enhance the advancement and spread awareness about fine arts, literature, religion, science, and the like.

What Is the Purpose of the Society Registration Act?

You can register a society for the development of literature, fine arts, or science. The registration of a society can also be done for spreading awareness or diffusing purposeful knowledge, or for charitable purposes. Several states in India have accepted the Society Registration Act of 1860 with or without further amendments. As per Section 20 of the Society Act of 1860,  a society can be registered for any of the following purposes: 

  • For the promotion of science, fine arts and literature
  • For spreading awareness and diffusing practical and useful knowledge
  • For spreading political education
  • For contributing with charitable assistance
  • To create a fund for military orphans
  • To maintain or create a foundation of galleries, libraries or public museums
  • To collect natural history 
  • To collect mechanical and philosophical designs, instruments and inventions.

Apart from the above purposes specified by the Societies Act, 1860, a Society can also be registered for purposes based on the concerned state government’s amendment.

Registering a Society in India

  • You can obtain registration for your society by meeting a minimal criterion of seven or more individuals in India, companies, or even foreigners that can come together for the aforementioned purposes. In the case of registration as a housing society, for instance, you need at least ten individuals that are looking to initiate the cooperative society registration process
  • State Governments are responsible for the governance of rules and regulations of society registration. Therefore, the society registration form or application must be aligned with the state authority in which the society is located. 
  • The members of the society must first agree on the name of the society. When selecting the name for the society registration, the Act does not allow any identical, or similar name of a currently registered society. Also,  you must not propose a name that pays patronage or homage to either the state or central government. 
  • The very next step is to prepare the Memorandum of Association (MoA) of the society.  Every founding member must sign the MoA. All details regarding the name, objectives, and mission of the society along with the current address, occupation, and designation of each founding member. 
  • The signing must be done in the presence of a witness by a Gazetted Officer, Chartered Accountant, Oath Commissioner, Notary Public, or Magistrate first-class, along with their official stamp and address. Usually, a fee of ₹50 has to be paid for the registration process to be complete. 

What Are the Documents Required to Register a Society in India?

For the registration of society in India, you will need the following documents:

  • A cover letter for the registration signed by all the founding members.
  • A signed copy of the MoA
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by the landlord, and address proof of the society’s registered office.
  • A copy of the PAN card of all the founding members 
  • Residence proof of all the founding members, such as Aadhar Card, driving license, utility bill and passport.
  • A copy of the signed document that contains all the rules and regulations of the society
  • The president of the proposed society must provide a declaration that he is willing and competent to take up the said post.

All the documents mentioned above will be submitted to the Registrar of Societies, along with the requisite fee in two copies. After receiving all the documents, the registrar shall sign the first copy as acknowledgement and return it while keeping the second copy for review. After reviewing the application and the documents, the registrar will issue an incorporation certificate to your society with the registration number mentioned on it. 

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