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Societies Registration - Registration of Society

Several individuals when combined and united together for using a mutual consent to deliberate, govern and act cooperatively for some social purpose is called society. This type of organization is registered for the advancement of charitable activities li

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What is a Society?

Several individuals, when combined and united together for using a mutual consent to deliberate, govern and act cooperatively for some social purpose, is called society. This type of organization is registered for the advancement of charitable activities like sport, music, cultural, religion, art, education etc.

In India, societies can be registered under central societies act or under state societies act, as Societies Registration Act of 1860 is an all India Act but many States while applying the Act to them.

Pre-Requisites of Registration of Society

A minimum number of seven individuals are required to for a Society, which may include foreigners, or registered society for the promotion of literature, science or fine arts or diffusion of useful knowledge and political education or for charitable purposes, is required to register a society, as specified in Section 20 of the Societies Act as per the following procedure:-

➲ Grant of charitable assistance.

➲ Creation of military orphan funds.

➲ Societies established at the several Presidencies of India.

➲ Promotion of

  • Science
  • Literature 
  • Fine Arts
  • Instructions or diffusion of useful knowledge
  • Diffusion of political education
  • Maintenance or Foundation of libraries or reading rooms for general use among the members or open to the public
  • Public museums and galleries of paintings & other works of art
  • Collections of natural history
  • Mechanical and philosophical inventions
  • Instruments

social welfare, sports & games, environment, the compassion of living creatures, recreation, athletics, cultural activities, research work, the welfare of physically handicapped etc  has been added by Various States as other object.

Selection of Name of a Society

➲ Without the previous permission of competent authority a society cannot use any name, emblem, official seal etc (as per the Emblems and name act, it is prohibited).

➲ Name must be unique, means if it is identical with that name by which any other society has been registered or resembles such name which is likely to deceive the member of society or to the public such name may be avoided.

Documents Required for Incorporation of Society

➲ PAN card:

PAN detail of every member of the proposed Society has to be submitted with the application

➲ Residence proof:

Every member’s residence proof should be submitted along with the application. Driving license or Aadhar card or Bank statement, utility bill, passport any of them may be submitted as a proof of residence.

➲ Memorandum of association (MOA):

Objects and clauses book MOA has to be prepared which will contain clauses of society like, Name clause, object clause (purpose of society), registered office clause (where registered office of the society is situated), and details of a member of the proposed society.

➲ Article of association:

Internal rule book AOA has to be prepared which will contain the applicable rule and regulation on proposed society. It also contains the detail about the meetings of the society, information about the auditor, ways for the dissolution of the society and other related rule and regulation.

➲ Cover letter :

The objective or the purpose for which the society is being formed will be annexed to the beginning of the application which will be the covering letter. All the founding member of society will sign It.

➲ Office address proof:

A registered office of proposed society along with the valid proof like NOC, utility bill etc must be submitted along with the application.

➲ A governing body’s member list has to be given along with their signatures

➲ Proposed President must submit a declaration that he/she is willing and competent to hold the said post of the proposed society.

➲ Documents mentioned above have to be submitted to the Registrar of Societies along with the requisite fees in 2 copies. After receiving the application, the registrar will sign the first copy as acknowledgement and return it while keeping the second copy for approval. After proper scrutiny of the documents, the registrar will issue an Incorporation Certificate by allotting a registration number to it.  

➲ The signed Rules & Regulations, as well as Memorandum, has to be filed with concerned society or registrar of state with a mentioned fee.

Difference between various type of non-profit organization

Sl No.


Section 8




Govern Under Act

It is governed by the Indian Companies act 2013

It is governed by Societies Registration act 1860 or by the State society act as per the registration

It is governed by The Indian trust act 1882


Registration Authority

Authority is under regional director and registrar of companies of state

Authority lies under the hands of the registrar of societies

Authority is under the jurisdiction of deputy registrar/charity commissioner of the relevant area


Minimum Requirement

Minimum 2 director and 2 member

Minimum of seven members

Minimum 2 trustees are required


Primary registration document

Memorandum and Article of association under which objects and company internal rules are defined respectively

Memorandum of Society under which objective of the society is mentioned

Trust deed under which all the objects, rules and powers are defined


Managing body

Board of director of companies manages the company

It is managed by governing council or managing committee

Managed by trustees


Revocable/ Irrevocable

It may gets dissolve as per the provision of act

It may be dissolved, dissolution must be approved by at least 3/5th of the society’s member

These are generally irrevocable



The company need to file a financial report to concern ROC and need to intimate ROC as per the requirement of the act

Societies need to file annually a list of the names, addresses, and occupations of their managing committee members and other details to the registrar

There is no need for annul return filing


Registration under 80G and 12AA





Subsidy by government

Mostly preferred

Moderately preferred

Moderately preferred



Most preferred

Moderately preferred

Moderately preferred



Member can seek any information from the company

Fully transparent

Less transparency then section 8 company

Less transparent

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