Things to know before starting an NGO in India - Vakil Search

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How does NGO registration work for you?

National authority of india allows registration of NGO's under either, Public Trust Act of each state,or Societies registration Act,or a section 8 company under the companies act.

Right Entity Selection

It's important to register the right kind of entity - our experts will guide you on which entity is best for you, based on your activity.

Step 1

Online Paperwork

All the documents are prepared online, in a simple, hassle-free manner.

Step 2


We will register the NGO under the appropriate law for you and handle all the formalities. [Trust Act, Society Registrations Act or the Companies Act, depending on the entity chosen]

Step 3

Things to know before starting an NGO in India - Vakil Search

NGOs or non-governmental organizations are organizations that involve in a range of welfare activities that help upliftment of the underprivileged people and the society at large. NGOs usually function without depending on the government aids but at times work closely with the government for executing any specific projects.

Any person who has the desire to serve the society is free to join and work in an NGO. But starting one requires a little more than that. Registering an NGO needs funds, hard work, determination and passion to contribute to the society without expecting commercial gains.

Some of the causes NGOs in India work for are:

1. Women empowerment

2. Protection of human rights

3. Environmental conservation

4. Wildlife conservation

5. Poverty

6. Children’s education

7. Prevention of sexual harassment

8. Care for the elderly

9. Healthcare and mental healthcare for the impoverished

10. Disease control and so on

Before deciding on NGO registration, here are some pointers to get through the process.

Get Legal Assistance

Decide on the cause:

The above-mentioned causes are just a few and there are a lot more NGOs working towards major developments in the country. For example, a group of social welfare activists in a north Indian state has been working on recycling old materials as a potential source for enhancing the infrastructure of the rural areas. They empower women to build bamboo ridges, irrigation canals, wells, drainage systems and more. Create a well-structured plan of the idea, goals, target group, etc.

Know the legalities of starting an NGO:

An NGO can be registered as a legal entity in three ways - Trust, Society, and Section 8 company (same as section 25 Company under Indian Companies act 1956). All three differ in terms of registration, formation and management, and it is essential to decide on which entity suits the best.


Trusts are formed when the settler of the property transfers any property and offers its benefits for the well-being of recipients or for the practice of public purposes. The main aim of the person who registers a trust in India is to make use of the assets of the trust to attain welfare of the public at large and promote a charitable cause called a Public Charitable trust. It takes nearly two days to one week to form a Trust.


A Society possesses the Memorandum of Association (MoA) and Rules and Regulation or bylaws. It has the privilege to alter its MoA and increase or decrease its objectives from time to time. Any change made must be duly informed to the Registrar annually. A Society can be merged with another Society working for a similar cause. It takes one to two months to register a Society.

Section 8 Company:

Section 8 Company is the same as a Trust or Society but needs to be registered under the Central Government through the Registrar of Companies. The process is similar to that of forming a Public Limited and Private Limited. A Section 8 company that takes nearly three to six months has to mandatorily file the annual compliances.

Register NGO online:

For online registration of Trust, the essential documents required are water or electricity bill stating the address that needs to be registered, the ID proofs like Voter ID, driving license, passport, Aadhar card. It takes about 8 to 10 days for online registration to be completed with the help of professionals.

To register a Society, two copies of MoA, copies of valid ID proofs like Voter ID, driving license, passport, Aadhar card. When done with the assistance of expert service providers, it takes about 8 to 10 days for drafting the MoA and By-laws of the Society. Thereafter it takes 21 to 30 days for the Society to be registered.

For registration of Section 8 Company, the Company’s name has to be approved, water or electricity bill stating the address of Section 8 that needs to be registered, ID proofs, and the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association of the Company. It takes 8 to 10 days for drafting the MoA and AoA of the Society. Thereafter it takes about 2 months for the entire Company registration to be completed by seeking the help of professionals.

Make a financial assessment:

Once the type of entity has been decided and registered, estimate the initial amount required and start collecting the funds to operate. Try in different possible sources like fees, subscription charges, donations, government aids, sponsorships, foreign sources, etc.

Involve in networking:

Socialising as much as possible is a clear cut way to attract people’s attention towards your NGO. Participate in common meetups and social events online and offline to get connected with different types of professionals, including media agencies, corporate and government bodies. It is also best to look for prospective partnership opportunities that help build and support your organization.

Develop a website:

The Internet is a powerful medium to rightly communicate your cause and message to the audience. Hence, it is important to craft an intuitive website where people who want to volunteer, sponsor or partner can check the credibility of your NGO, the activities you do and all other details. It is also a wise idea to have social media handles that help make it more popular

Find how to start an start an NGO in India.

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