Individuals who want to come together for doing something for the betterment & upliftment of the larger section of the society usually come across a number of hindrances. They are at times misguided or are ignorant of how to go about to work as a non-profit organization. One of the ways to get over this hindrance is formation and registration of a society.  However, most of us are not really aware of the process of the registration of society or how it is to be registered. Moreover, whether it is to be registered or not and what is the procedure etc are other question which come across are minds. To solve most of your queries you can go through this article and thereby get your queries resolved. Though not mandatory it is always advisable to register your society.  Any person or entity has the right to carry on development work irrespective of having any formal registration. It is important that all voluntary organizations should get themselves legally registered.  The registration is to be done in accordance to the Societies Registration Act 1860. The societies registration act apply to the following as stated under section 20 of the said act:

  • Charitable societies
  • the military orphan funds or societies established at the several presidencies of India,
  • societies established for the promotion of science, literature, or the fine arts for instruction, the diffusion of useful knowledge
  • the foundation or maintenance of libraries or reading-rooms for general use among the members or open to the public, or public museums and galleries of paintings and other works of art, collections of natural history, mechanical and philosophical inventions, instruments, or designs.

Following are reasons and benefits for getting an organization registered:

  • Registration facilitates an organization or society to get their properties legally and lawfully vested in the name of the organization.
  • In the name of the organization the society can open bank accounts too.
  •  It enables the society to get the title of a legal entity which can sue and can be sued as well.
  • The registration also can be done under the Income tax act, foreign contribution regulation act and under various other authorities.
  • Sourcing of funds as well as implementation of programmes acquires greater creditability.
  • It also facilities in acquiring sustainability and longevity independent of its founders. In other words registration enables a society to be independent thereby not depending on its founders and also provides sustainability.
  • Generally the liability of members also becomes limited after such registration.

To register an organization a group of 7 or more members are entitled in accordance to the Societies Registration Act 1860. The member or subscribers are to prepare a MOA (Memorandum of association) and the bye- laws and the same is to be filed with the Registrar of Societies. The registration is done by the respective state government in whose territories the organization is located. An organization can be registered in any district of India, with the Assistant Registrar of Societies subject to the minor procedural variations between various states of India. It is desirable to register the organization with the Registrar of Societies of the respective states to have state – wise jurisdiction.

Rights & Duties of the members of the society:

The members of the society do have certain rights and duties they are as follows:

Rights of members:

  1. Right to vote
  2. Right to receive notices
  3. Right to receive Statement of Accounts
  4. Right to receive copies of the bye-laws
  5. Right to attend general meeting

 Duties & Responsibilities:

  1. The primary responsibility of any member is to work towards attaining the objects of the society.
  2. Meetings should be attended by members regularly and also execute their democratic rights as and when required.
  3. The society may act against a member for:
    1. Recovery of any retained property or damages to the property caused by the members.
    2. Misutilisation/ misappropriation of society of funds.
    3. Forging any deed, document, money, receipt, etc. causing loss of fund or credibility of the society.
    4. Recovery of arrears of membership subscription.

Documentation & Procedure to be complied with for registration of Societies:

  1. A Memorandum of Association along with a certified copy, signed by all subscribers. Memorandum should include the name of the society, location, jurisdiction, aims & objectives, attested signatures of members, signature of attesting officer with official seal, certification that the memorandum is true, signatures of any 3 members of governing body etc.
  2. The bye- laws or rules & regulations with a certified copy of the same. The bye laws shall state and include the name of the society, location, jurisdiction, aims & objectives of society, the clauses of interpretation , membership ,  expulsion from membership, the code of conduct, management, general body & its functions, financial year is to be mentioned, audit, funds, bank account, the office of the society and its officers i.e., the president, vice- president, secretary, assistant secretary and treasurer, income & property , legal matters, amendment & alteration, dissolution, legal actions, certificate etc.
  3. Declaration- An affidavit on non- judicial stamp paper sworn by the President/ Secretary. This affidavit is to be attested by an Executive Magistrate or Notary Public.
  4. Address proof- House tax receipt or rent receipt as documentary evidence of the premises of the registered office. Also a no objection certificate is required to be furnished by the landlord.
  5. Requesting the Registrar for registration a covering letter along with the requisite fees is also required to be furnished.  The fees payable range from Rs. 10 to Rs 100 in various states. The exact amount payable is required to be verified from the local registering authority.
  6. The minutes of the meetings are also to be maintained and furnished appropriately.

Generally the time taken to register the society is 1 month.

Registration Certificate:

The above mentioned documents shall be verified and processed by the Registrar of Societies. The registrar shall issue a certificate of registration after being satisfied about the compliance of the provisions of the relevant act and the correctness of the documents.

This certificate and bye laws act as an evidence of the society. Copies of both these documents should be certified and can thereafter be used for all other legal and administrative matters.

Specimen – Certificate of Registration:

“CERTIFICATE OF REGISTARTION”

(THE SOCIETIES REHISTRATION ACT, 1860)

(ACT XXI of 1860)

                Registration No:

                                It is certified that …………………………………………………………………………………….. has this day been duly registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (XXI of 1860).

Given under my hand this …………………………………………………………….. day of …………………………..20  .

 

SEAL

Registrar/ Assistant Registrar of Societies,

…………………………………. Area or sub- area.

Other relevant matters:

  • The General Body and the Governing Body or Executive Body are two sets of committees formed by the society. The General body comprises of all the members of the society the Governing body or Executive body is elected out of the general members. The governing board is elected for a period of 1 to 3 years in the annual general meeting of all the members of society.
  • The tenure of registration is usually permanent in nature and is generally not revoked under the Societies Act. At the initiation of the existing members or the government under extreme circumstances such societies can be liquidated.
  • Unlike any other Indian organization a society can employee its staff.  Applicability is o the basis of prevailing laws to employees.
  • Maintenance of accounts should be in accordance of section 12D and audit should be carried in the prescribed manner as stated in the said act.
  • In accordance with the provisions laid in the bye laws the bank accounts can be opened in the name of the society. Drafting of proper clause for opening and operation of bank account should be done while preparing the bye laws of the society.
  • There is no such bar on utilization or transfer of funds, the only condition is that the funds should be used for charitable purpose only.
  • A list of general and governing body members is required to be filed to the Registrar of the Societies every year. The annual audited statements should also be filed with addition to it. There is a marginal variation between state to state for the requirements of submitting annual reports. Therefore the local laws are to be checked.
  • A registered society generally has very secure and stable existence activities. The general members have all the powers and destiny of a registered society. The threat of non existence disappears where there are majority of general members are like- minded.

Specimen of Rules and Regulations:

  1.  Name: The name of the Society is “……………………………………………………………………………………………..       ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………” (Hereinafter referred to as  the Society)
  2. Location: The registered office of the organization will be situated at:

At: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

P.S.: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

P.O.: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Dist.: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

State: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...

Pin Code: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

3. Jurisdiction: Its Jurisdiction shall be throughout the State of ………………………………………………………………..

4. Aims and Objectives of the society: Aims and objects as stated in the Memorandum of Association.

5. Interpretation: In these rules and regulations unless there be anything in the context repugnant or inconsistent there with:

  1. ‘ The Society’ means xxx
  2. ‘The General Body’ means the members of the Society.
  3. ‘The Board’ means the Board of Management of the Society.
  4. ‘A Member’ means a member admitted as such under the rules prescribed by the Society.
  5. ‘Act’ means the Societies Registration Act 1860.

6. Membership: The membership of the Society shall consist of Individual Members:

  1. Such individuals who sign the Memorandum of Association of the Society shall be the Founder Members.
  2. Such other individuals who may be admitted to the Society from time to time and whose name is entered in the Register of Members shall be member of the Society.
  3. Membership of the Society shall cease:
  1. If a member dies or resigns.
  2. If a member is removed from the membership of the Society.
  3. If a member, whose membership solely stands on his occupying an official position, cease to be in that position.

7. Expulsion from membership: A member shall be expelled from the primary membership of the Society for any of the following reasons with the approval of the general body having 2/3 majority and sufficient proof thereof; which shall be recorded in the register of the Society:-

  1. If the activities of a member are detrimental to the attainment of the aims and objectives of the Society.
  2. Who does not attend three consecutive meetings without proper reason.
  3. Who becomes of unsound mind, insolvent and convicted in a criminal offence.

8. Code of conduct: Every member of the Society shall be bound by the provisions of the Memorandum of Association, the Rules and Regulations of the Society, Bye- laws and decisions made or taken by the Society or Board from time to time.

9. Management: The affairs of the Society shall be managed by the Board consisting of not less than seven and not more than twelve members elected in the Annual General Meeting for a period of two years and eligibility for reduction.

  1. The Officers of the Society shall be the President, the Vice- President, the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary and the Treasurer. They shall be elected by the General Body from among its members for a term of two years in the Annual General Meeting and eligible for re- election.
  2. Any vacancy arising on the Board may be filled by the remaining members until the next Annual General Meeting.

10. General body and its functions:

a. The General Body of the Society shall consist of all those members mentioned in Rule 6, not   less than seven.

b. An Annual General Meeting shall be held every year at such place, time and date as may be determined by the Board to transact the following business (at least twenty-one days clear notice shall be given to the members to convene such an Annual General Meeting):-

  1. To receive the report of the officers of the Society on the affairs of the Society.
  2. To receive audited financial Statement of the Society.
  3. To approve the Budget of the Society.
  4. To elect the Board of Management of the Society.
  5. To appoint an auditor.

c. The accidental omission to give notice to or the non-receipt of notice, by a member or other person to whom it should be given shall not invalidate the proceedings of the meeting.

d. One-third members of the Society, shall constitute a quorum for the annual general  meeting shall be adjourn for half- hour and reassemble, all those members present then shall form the quorum.

e. If there is no quorum for the annual general meeting, the meeting shall adjourn for half-hour and reassemble; all those members present then shall form the quorum.

                f. In any meeting of the Society the President may exercise casting vote if required.

g. The General Body shall lay down general polices for furtherance of the aims and objectives of   the Society.

11. Financial year: The financial year of the society shall commence on the 1st day of April of each year to 31st day of March of the succeeding year.

12. Audit: The accounts of the organization shall be audited annually by a Chartered Accountant in practice & the audit report along with the Annual Accounts shall be placed before the Annual General Meeting.

13. Funds: The following shall comprise the funds of the organization. The amount of entrance fee and monthly membership fee may be varied from time to time.

  1. Entrance fees towards admission of members, Rs 100 (One Hundred only)
  2. Monthly membership fees of Rs. 10 (Ten only)
  3. Grant-in-Aid
  4. At the time of exigency, special funds can be raised by the Board after getting the approval of General Body.
  5. Any other suitable means as decided by the General Body having 2/3rd majority.

14. Bank account: A saving bank account having cheque facility shall be opened in the name of the Society. All the transactions shall be made under the signature and seal of the President, the Secretary, the Treasurer or such other person severally or jointly as may be decided from time to time.

15. Office of the society: The Society shall have the following officers:

  1. President
  2. Vice- President
  3.  Secretary
  4. Assistant Secretary
  5. Treasurer

The President:

  1. The chief Officer of the Society shall be the President who shall be elected by the members of the General Body. His term of office shall be two years.
  2. The President shall appoint the other office bearers of the Society or remove any member of the Society for misconduct.
  3. All properties both movable and immovable and all securities belonging to the Society shall vest in the Society. All properties to be acquired for the Society in pursuance of its objects shall be acquired in the name of the society through the President, Secretary or any other member of the Governing Body duly authorised by the President.
  4. It shall be competent for the President to appoint members of the staff of the Society and fix their remuneration.

Secretary:

  1. The secretary shall be elected by the member of the Society.
  2. The secretary shall attend to the day- to- day management of the affairs of the Society like correspondence, etc. subject to the control of the President.
  3. The secretary shall maintain proper accounts in respect of the transactions of the Society and be responsible for the preparations of the financial statements of the Society whenever necessary.
  4. In case of emergency, it shall be competent to the Secretary to take decisions by circulating the papers among them with the prior approval of the President.

Assistant Secretary:

In the absence of the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary shall carry out the functions of the Secretary in consultation with the President, after obtaining written permission from the Secretary.

The Treasurer shall oversee:

  1.  (i) All sums of money received and expended by the Society and the matters in respect of which receipt & expenditure take place.

(ii) All sales and purchases of goods by the Society.

(iii) The assets and liabilities of the Society.

  1. Arrange annual audit of the accounts by the Auditor duly appointed by the Society for the purpose.
  2. File returns of Income of the Society with the Income-tax authorities as prescribed by the rules in this regard.
  3. Prepare the annual Budget for the approval by the Society.

All the above powers of the Treasurer shall be carried out in consultation with the Secretary.

16. Income and Property:

a. The income and property of the Society whenever derived shall be applied solely for the promotion of its objectives as set forth in the Memorandum of Association.

b. No portion of the income or property aforesaid shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly, by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise by way of profit, to persons who, at any time are, or have been members of the Society or to any one or more of them or to any persons claiming through any or more of them.

c. No remuneration or other benefit in money or money’s worth shall be given by the Society to any of its members except payment of expenses incurred in connection with the work of the Society.

d. To raise voluntary grants and contributions either in cash or in kind.

e. To borrow or release money for the purpose and objectives of the Society and conditions as the society may think fit.

f. To draw, make, accept discount, endorse, negotiate, sell, execute and issue bill of exchange, promissory notes, cheque ‘s, warrants, debentures and other negotiable or transferable instruments and securities.

g. To pay for rights of property acquired by the Society and to remunerate any person, firm or body corporate rendering services to the Society.

h. To adopt such means of making known the objectives and purposes of the Society as may seem expedient and in particular granting prizes, rewards and donations out of the funds of the Society.

17. Legal matters:

  1. Any document or proceedings of the Society requiring authentication may be so attested by any officer of the Society.
  2. All documents relating to the properties of the Society shall be executed by the President or the Secretary for and on behalf of the Society.

18. Amendments and alteration:

  1. No alteration to the rules & regulations of the Society shall be made except by a resolution of the Annual General Meeting of the Society by not less than 3/5 of the members present and voting in favour of such a resolution.
  2. No alteration to the Memorandum of Association of the Society shall be made except in accordance with the provisions of section 12 of the Act.

19. Dissolution: Upon dissolution of the Society, its assets will be handed over to a similar type of registered society or to the Govt. after satisfaction of all debts and liabilities and shall not be distributed or paid among the members. The Society shall not be dissolved unless 3/5 of its members express a wish for such dissolution by their votes delivered in person or by proxy at the General Body Meeting of the Society convened for the purpose.

20. Legal action:  The Secretary may sue or be sued on behalf of society for movable and immovable properties.

21. Certificate:

  1. Certified that this is the true and correct copy of the Rules and Regulations of “xxxx” a voluntary organization.
  2. Certified that there is no other registered society with the above name in the same area.
  3. All legal matters shall be guided under the Society Registration Act XXI 1860 with amendment of 1969.

Signature of the Attesting Officer with Official Seal

Certified that this is the true and correct copy of the bye- laws

Signature of any three member of Governing Body

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    I hope by reading this article you got enlighten on ,Procedure for registration under Societies Registration Act 1860 – It’s Advantages, rights & duties & other relevant matter’sfurther to mention before taken any financial decision based on this content it is prefered to take an expert opinion as matter can be subjective.