How to start an NGO in India|NGO Registration|Trust registration

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How to start an NGO in India|NGO Registration|Trust registration


An NGO operates independently for the welfare of the public at large without the intervention of the government. Non-governmental organizations can be local or national or international. As all of them work for different causes and also meet criticism, it is key to do the research before, including the group’s budget, activities, funds, volunteers, and so on.

Following are the steps required for registering an NGO online:

Starting an NGO:


An NGO can be registered under three acts, namely Public Trust laws of each state, 1882, Societies Registration Act, 1862 and Companies Act, 2013. Before going for the registration things that need to be considered are:

1. Mission and vision of the NGO:

A Mission statement must define its objectives and the approach to attain the goals. A Vision statement has to describe the future prospects of the company and its values.

2. Formation of the governing body/Board of Directors:

The governing body takes care of the functions, activities and management of the NGO. It also includes financial aspects, volunteers or employees, planning the projects and execution of the same. It is the responsibility of the members of the governing body to define the strategies related to fund-raising, partnerships and management of people, etc. The body is a must for organizations that solely rely on donations and hence it is best to have financial advisors in the board as well.

3. Documents Structure:

As part of the legal requirements, it is important for the members to draft the Trust Deed in case of a Trust, bye-laws in case of a Society, Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association if it is a Section 8 company. A documents must contain:

  • Registered address of the NGO
  • Registered name of the NGO
  • Details of the members
  • Rules and regulations
  • Administration of NGO
  • Working model
  • Working location
  • Objectives of the NGO
  • Modes of operation
  • Financial details - collection and management of funds

It is always advisable to get these drafted with the assistance of legal experts.

4. NGO has to be registered either as a Trust, Society or Company

Procedure to register under the Indian Trust Act


Public Trust in India is governed by the Public Trust Act prevailing in the particular state. The following process shall be followed for the purpose of registration of the Trust:

Step 1: Fill the application form.

Step 2: Make the online registration fee, which depends upon the value of the property.

Step 3: The application form is to be submitted along with the trust deed and other documents like Voter ID, driving license, passport, Aadhar card, a bill of electricity or water with the address that needs to be registered.

Step 4: On the date fixed for registration, the Author of the Trust shall be present in the Register Office for Trust registration.

Procedure to register under Societies Registration Act, 1862:


Section 20 of the Societies Act lays specifications under which organizations and societies can be registered. This can be done before the Registrar of Societies. In order for an NGO to be registered as a Society, a minimum of seven members are required among which designations as President, Vice President, Secretary, Joint Secretary and Treasurer.

Step 1: Select the name for the Society

Step 2: Submit the address proof of the office to be registered

Step 3: Submit the required ID proofs

Step 4: Two copies of the MoA and bye-laws of the Society and the consent letter to all members and affidavit need to be provided

The registration procedure varies from state to state.

Procedure to register under the Indian Companies Act, 2013


Any organization that works for promoting ‘art, commerce, science, religion, charity and other useful objects’ fall under Section 8 of the Companies Act. Profits from such an organisation must, however, be used towards the object of the society and not be paid as a dividend to its members. A Company has to have a minimum of two Directors and two Shareholders (the Directors and Shareholders can be one and the same persons) and MoA through which it will function.

Step 1: Fill a form to check the availability of the proposed name of the company along with the fee

Step 2: When it gets confirmed, an application to the Company Law Board has to be submitted along with the MoA and declaration by an advocate to ensure it adheres to the Companies Act for obtaining the special license under section 8 of Companies Act.

Step 3: Once the license is approved, thereafter you can apply for the final form for incorporation.

5. Procurement of special licenses


If the NGO intends to operate in a tribal area or locations that demand special permits or if the NGO has to employ foreign nationals, then a Special Licensing is required. A Shop and Establishment Act for opening an office, an inner line permit for workspaces in restricted areas or tribal zones, FCRA registration and a no-objection certificate with a work visa to accept donations from foreigners.

International social workers who wish to set up NGOs in India have to seek special permission from the Reserve Bank of India and a no-objection certificate before registration under any one of the above-mentioned acts.

Also, if an NGO wants a tax exemption, an application has to be filed along with their annual report and the activities performed to obtain the license under Section 12 A of the Income Tax Act and in order for the donors to enjoy tax exemption an NGO shall apply for an exemption under Section 80G of Income Tax Act.

Know the process of setting a co operative society.


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