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How to Register NGO (Non Governmental Organization) in India

How to Register NGO (Non Governmental Organization) in India

NGO Registration Process in India

NGO stands for Non-Government Organization. It’s called Non-Profit Organization also. As the name Non-Government Organization suggests they are operated by citizens on voluntary initiatives without any kind of interference from central or state governments. It requires hard work, determination and a genuine desire to support others. To start and run an NGO is an almost similar process to run a company but here you have to keep transparency. Moreover, here you have to work for the welfare of the society without expecting any profit.

To start a NGO, first you need to decide the vision or mission. It could be anything like Women’s Right, Children’s Welfare, Saving the Environment, Literacy, Old age welfare, etc.

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In India, NGO can be registered as --

  • Trusts under Indian Trust Act,1882
  • Society under Societies Registration Act, 1860
  • Non- profit company under Section 8 Company Act, 2013

Key elements for NGO Registration

If you are planning for NGO registration, there are certain crucial decisions that are required to be finalized beforehand. As these key factors are required to be finalized and implemented through registration procedure. These key factors include:

  • VISION - In order to set up any kind of organization one must determine the vision for it. A clearly set main objective helps the management to focus on the area of work and determines the area of operation.
  • STRUCTURE - Once you have finalized the area of operation you can determine the structure of the organization in which it will operate and will be most suitable for the vision for the proposed NGO.
  • GOVERNING BODY - In order to make sure that your nonprofit organization is working without any hindrance a governing body must be formed. This governing body shall include dedicated people who are like minded and have a single objective of furtherance of the main objects of the organization.
  • NAME - Before starting the procedure of registration the promoters must decide a name for the organization with which it will be registered.
  • LOCATION & AREA OF OPERATION - The applicant must have a registered office address available. While registration copy of registered office address must be available along with a no objection certificate from the owner of the property.
  • DRAFT BY-LAWS - In order to ensure smooth operation of the organization a detailed incorporation document/ by-laws must be drafted. These by-laws must clearly define the rules and regulations, objects, responsibilities along with dispute resolution provisions.

Following documents will include by-laws in case of different business models;

  • Trust Deed in case of Trust
  • Memorandum of Association MOA) By-laws in case of Society
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association ( MOA & AOA) in case of Section 8 Company Documents required for registration of NGO

The following documents are required for the registration of the NGO:

  • Identity Proof
  • Passport
  • Proof of residence
  • Registered Office Address Proof
  • Documents claiming the ownership such as Sale Deed or House Tax receipt along with a NOC
  • Income tax PAN

Procedure for registration under Indian Trust Act 1882

  • STEP 1: Choose a name for your NGO. We would suggest to provide at least three names because might be that name is already been registered which you want.
  • STEP 2: Determine the settlor, minimum 2 trustees and a clear definition of who will be the beneficiary.
  • STEP 3: Prepare the MOA and by-laws and execute a proper trust deed containing all the key provisions and clauses.
  • STEP 4: The Trust Deed must be executed on stamp paper of sufficient value based on the value of the property assigned to the Trust.
  • STEP 5: Finally, the Trust Deed must be signed by all the trustees and settlor and registered with the Local Registrar of the area in which registered office of the NGO is located.

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Procedure for registration under Societies Registration Act, 1860

If you are planning for registering a NGO in the form of a Society, you are required to follow following simple steps:

  • STEP 1: Choose a name for your NGO
  • STEP 2: Form a governing body of the proposed Trust.
  • STEP 3: Prepare the MOA and by-laws of the proposed Society including all the rules and regulations for the NGO registration and operation.
  • STEP 4: Once everything is finalized the applicant is required to submit this MOA and rule and regulation document along with the registration forms to the Registrar of Society of state in which jurisdiction the registration is done.

Procedure for registration under Section 8 Company Act, 2013

If you are planning for registering a NGO in the form of a Section 8 Company Act, 2013 then there are certain additional formalities that are required to be met with. Following steps are involved in the form of a Section 8 Company:

  • STEP 1: Choose a name for your NGO and make sure that it does not resemble any already registered company or Limited Liability Partnership. This proposed named must be filed for reservation through Reserve Unique Name facility available on the MCA portal. Maximum 2 names can be filed through in one go.
  • STEP 2: Once name is approved you are required to prepare the MOA and AOA of the organization along some other required documents like projected Profit and Loss statement, statement of assets and liabilities, brief description of work etc.
  • STEP 3: Once all the documents are prepared submit an online application to respective ROC for issue of License in Form INC-12.
  • STEP 4: After review by the ROC, license is issued. Then, file incorporation application in SPICe Form along with the required document as attachments.
  • STEP 5: After proper verification of the application Certificate of Incorporation (COI) will be issued. This COI will contain the Company Identification Number (CIN) along with Company’s PAN & TAN number.

Registration of the NGO is not necessary if you just want to do social work. Though, if you want funds for the social work it becomes essential to register the NGO.

Comparison among Trust, Society and Non Profit Company




Section 8 Company


 Relevant State Trust Act

Societies Registration Act,1860

Indian Companies Act, 2013


Deputy Registrar / Charity Commissioner

Registrar of Societies

Registrar of Companies


As trust

As Society in Maharashtra, both as society and as a trust

Under section 8 of Indian Company Act

Registration Document

Trust Deed

Memorandum of Association and rules & regulations

Memorandum of Articles of association and regulations

Stamp Duty

Trust deed to be executed on non-judicial stamp paper, vary from state to state

No Stamp Paper required for MOA and rules & regulations

No Stamp Paper required for MOA

Required members

Minimum two trustees, no upper limit

Minimum seven managing committee members, no upper limit

Minimum three members, no upper limit

Board of Management

Trustee / Board of Trustee

Governing body or council / managing or executive committee

Board of Directors / Managing Committee

Mode of succession on Board of Management

Appointment or Election

Appointment or Election by members of the general body

Election by members of the general body

The basic aim of an NGO should be to provide social, educational and economic strength and to identify the needy people so that help should reach to them. NGOs play a critical part in developing society, improving communities, and promoting citizen participation. NGO also fights against exploitation, injustice and corruption if found against any individual, class, community in the society. 

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