Legal Resources

Actual process of NGO registration with its prerequisites

The public charitable trust is a possible form of not-for-profit entity in India. Public charitable trusts can be established for a number of purposes, including the relief of poverty, education, medical relief, provision of facilities for recreation, and any other object of general public concern and utility.  Indian public trusts are generally irrevocable in nature. But it can also be liquidated by government if the situation demands.

A Non Governmental / Profit Organization could be registered under any of the following Indian Acts:

  1. As a Charitable Trust under Bombay Public Trust Act 1950 [See Links of Public Trust Acts]
  2. As a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 – A Central Statute [See Links of Societies Registration Act]
  3. As a Company licensed under section 25 of the Companies Act 1956.  [See Links of Companies Act]

If the registration is being made in Maharashtra and Gujarat, it has to be registered under A and B of above Acts.
But in the case of any other state, they may have their own state legislature along with the central statue i.e. B of above, for the registration of voluntary organization.
Here, in this module, we will discuss the procedures in relation with three legislations given above.
Right Authority:
Charity Commissioner is an authority to provide legal identity to any NGO. Concerned regional office of Deputy / Assistant Charity Commissioner should be contacted for the process of NGO registration. Although NGO is registered in a specific regional office, the area of operation could be anywhere in India.

    1. Following are the steps to be taken while registering the NGO under the Bombay Public Trust Act 1950:
        • The application for registration of a public charitable trust should be submitted under section 18 of the BPT Act 1950 to the Deputy / Assistant Charity Commissioner having jurisdiction over the region / sub-region in which the trust is sought to be registered.


The application should be made in a prescribed form which is available at the office of Charity Commissioner or Deputy / Assistant Charity Commissioner. Fill up the form accordingly with details of name of Trust, names of trustees, mode of succession etc. This application should be supported by covering letter

      1. The applicant has to affix a court fee stamp of Rs.100.00 on the form and pay the registration fee in cash which may range from Rs.3.00 to Rs. 25.00 depending on the value of a trust’s property. If the value of the trust’s property does not exceed Rs. 2000/-, the registration fee levied is Rs. 3.00. If the value exceeds Rs. 25000/-, it is Rs. 25.00. Along with these formalities there is a need to submit address proofs such as electricity bill, telephone bill, or bank pass book details for the registered office of organization.


      1. The application form should be signed by the applicant before the regional officer or superintendent of the regional office of the Charity Commissioner or the Notary. The application should be submitted together with the copy of Trust Deed.
      1. The original copy of Trust Deed may be produced, later for verification which is the important and mandatory instrument of Trust. [Model Trust deed will be available with us – free of charge for our Members and at nominal charge for others – send us email] The Trust Deed is a document that every trustee must turn to, whenever in doubt regarding the aims and objectives, mode of succession or any issue concerning the management of the trust. A Trust may be created by any language sufficient to know the intention and no technical words are necessary.


A trust deed, generally, incorporates the following…

      • The name(s) of the author(s)/settlor(s) of the trust;
      • The name(s) of the trustee(s);
      • The name(s) if any, of the beneficiary/ies or whether it shall be the public at large;
      • The name by which the trust shall be known;
      • The name where its principal and/or other offices shall be situated;
      • The property that shall devolve upon the trustee(s) under the trust for the benefit of the beneficiary/ies;
      • An intention to divest the trust property upon the trustee(s);
      • The objects of the trust
      • The procedure for appointment, removal or replacement of a trustee, their rights, duties and powers etc;
      • The rights and duties of the beneficiary/ies;
      • The mode and method of determination of the trust


        • The trust deed must be executed on non-judicial stamp paper, the value of which would depend on the valuation of the trust property. According to article 61, together with article 13, of the Bombay Stamp Act, for “every five hundred rupees or a part thereof the stamp is Rs. 20.00. It is advisable to use both the sides of paper, other than the stamp paper. Trust Deed should be signed by both the settler/s and trustee/s in the presence of witness. The witness might be a friend or relative.
        • Two other documents which should be submitted at the time of making an application are


      • Affidavit [Model affidavit will be available with us – free of charge for our Members and for nominal charge for others – send us email] which must be sworn by trustees before a notary and executed on non judicial stamp paper of Rs. 10.00
      • Consent Letter which may be prepared on the ordinary sheet of paper and signed by the trustee/s other than the trustee making an application.


        • Processing the application usually takes about six to eight weeks. A notice informing the applicant about the day and time of the formal hearing is dispatched usually 10 to 15 days in advance. The applicant has to appear in person or can depute his or her lawyer. The original trust deed should be produced for verification at the time of hearing.

Following points are inquired by deputy/ charity commissioner at the time of verification.

          • Whether a trust exists and whether such trust is public trust.
          • Whether any property is the property of trust
          • Whether the whole or any substantial portion of the subject matter of the trust is situated within his jurisdiction
          • The names and the addresses of the trustees and managers of trust
          • The mode of succession to the office of the trustee of trust
          • The mode of succession to the office of the trustee
          • The origin, nature and object of trust
          • The amount of gross average annual income and expenditure of trust
          • Any other particulars as may be prescribed under sub-section (5) of section 18.

After making inquiries on the aforesaid issues, the deputy/assistant charity commissioner makes the entries on the register kept under section 17 of BPT Act 1950
and issues a Certificate of Registration which bears the official seal and registration number of the trust. On the lost or damage of such certificate over the years, the duplicate certificate could be obtained on application and on payment of nominal fees.

    1. Process of registration for Societies under Societies Registration Act 1860:


In Maharashtra, NGOs registered with charity commissioner needs the registration under two distinct acts. One was BPT Act 1950 which we have seen earlier, and another is Societies Registration Act 1860. Both these legislations are considered while registering a charity trust or NGO.  Here, we will understand various aspects which need to be taken care of while registering the NGO under Societies Registration Act 1860.   

When an NGO is constituted as a society, it is required to be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. A society may be defined as an association of persons united together by mutual consent to deliberate, determine and act jointly for same common purpose. Minimum seven persons, eligible to enter into a contract, can form society.

Following are the steps to be taken to register the society:

      • The application for registration of a society should be made to the assistant registrar of societies who is nothing but the assistant charity commissioner having jurisdiction over the region/sub-region in which the society is sought to be registered.


      • The application should be submitted in prescribed form together with.,
          • Memorandum of Association in duplicate  need not to be executed on stamp paper
          • Rules and regulations  need not to be executed on stamp paper
          • Consent letters of all the members of the managing committee
          • Authority letter duly signed by all the members of the managing committee
          • An affidavit sworn by the president or secretary of the society on non-judicial stamp paper of Rs.10.00, together with court fee stamp
          • Declaration by the members of the managing committee that the funds of society will be used only for the purpose of furthering the aims and objects of the society.

[Model Application and Other documents will be available with us – free of charge for our Members and at nominal charge for others – send us email]

In the state of Mahrashtra and Gujarat since the registrar of societies is the charity commissioner, all the societies also have to be registered as a trust; hence an application should also be made u/s 18 of the Bombay Public Trust Act 1950 which we have discussed earlier. 

    1. Registration of charity organization / NGO under section 25 of Indian Companies Act 1956 [Now section of 8 of Indian Companies Act 2013]:


According to Indian Companies Act, the company for the promotion of commerce, art, science, charity or any other useful purpose and it intends to apply its profits, if any, or other income in promoting its objects and prohibits the payment of any dividend to its members, then the government may, by a license, direct that the association be registered as a company with limited liability without the addition to its name the word “Limited” or “Private Limited”

      • The first step towards registration of a company (under section 25 of the Indian Companies Act) is the application for the availability of name to the registrar of companies, which must be made in the prescribed form no. 1A, together with the fees of Rs. 500.00. It is advisable to choice three other names by which the company will be called, in case the first name which is proposed is not found acceptable by the registrar. Once the availability of name is finalized the application has to be made in writing to the regional director of the company law board. The application should be accompanied with following documents.


      1. Three printed or typewritten copies of Memorandum and Articles of Association of the proposed company, duly signed by all the promoters with their full name, address and occupation
      2. A declaration by an Advocate / Chartered Accountant that the memorandum and articles of association have been drawn up with conformity with the provisions of the Act
      1. Three copies of a list of the names, addresses and occupations of the promoters as well as of the members of the board of directors, together with the names of companies, associations and other institutions in which such promoters, partners and members of the proposed board of directors are directors or hold responsible positions, if any, with description of the positions so held.


      1. A statement showing in detail the assets (with the estimated values thereof) and liabilities of the organization as on the date of application 
      1. An estimate of the future annual income and expenditure of the proposed company, specifying the sources of the income and the objects of the expenditure.


      1. A statement giving a brief description of the work, if any, already done by the organization and proposed to be done.
      1. A statement specifying the grounds on which the application is being made.


      1. A declaration by each of the person making an application stating that he / she is of sound mind and not having any insolvency, not convicted by the court of any offence and does not stand disqualified u / s 203 of the companies Act 1956, for appointment as director.
        • The application should also, within a week from the date of making an application to the regional director of the company law board, publish a notice in the prescribed manner at least once in a newspaper in a local language of district in which the registered office of the proposed company is located, and at least once in a English newspaper circulating in that district.


      • It is in the hands of regional director to verify all the facts and then to provide a license. Normally it takes two to three months to accomplish the entire process.  


[Entire Model documents for registration of NGOs are available with us – free of charge for our Members and at nominal charge for others – send us email]

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