society registration india association management

Society Registration in India

A society is an association of persons united together by mutual consent to deliberate, determine and act jointly for some common purpose. Societies are usually registered for the promotion of charitable activities like education, art, religion, culture, music, sports, etc., In India, The Societies Registration Act, 1860 lays down the procedure for society registration and operation in India. In this article, we look at the process for society registration in India:

Societies Act, 1860

The Societies Registration Act, 1860 was introduced with the aim of improving the legal conditions of societies registration for the promotion of literature, science or fine arts or for diffusion of useful knowledge for charitable purposes. The Societies Registration Act, 1860 has been adopted by most of the State Governments with/without further amendments.

Society Registration – Purposes

A Society can be formed for the promotion of literature, science or fine arts or the diffusion of useful knowledge or political education or for charitable purposes. As per Section 20 of the Societies Act, 1860, a Society can be registered for the following purposes:

  • Grant of charitable assistance.
  • Creation of Military Orphan funds.
  • Promotion of Science.
  • Promotion of Literature.
  • Promotion of Fine Arts.
  • Promotion or Instruction or Diffusion of useful Knowledge.
  • Diffusion of Political Education.
  • Foundation or maintenance of libraries or reading rooms.
  • Foundation or maintenance of Public Museum or Galleries.

In addition to the above purposes specified by the Societies Act, 1860, a Society can also be registered for other purposes based on the amendment that has been enacted to the Societies Act, 1860 by the concerned State Government.

Society Registration in India

A Society can be formed by a minimum of seven or more persons. Besides persons from India, foreigners, companies and other registered societies can subscribe to the Memorandum of a society. Like Partnership Firms, Societies can also be registered or unregistered. However, only registered Societies can hold vested properties and/or have a suit filed by or against the Society.

Society registration is managed by State Governments. Therefore, the application for registration of society must be made to the concerned authority in the State, in which the registered office of the Society will be situated.

To register a Society, the founding members must first agree on a name for the Society and prepare the Memorandum and Rules and Regulations of the Society.

Society Registration – Name Selection

While choosing a name for the society, it is important to remember that as per Societies Act, 1860, the similar or identical name of existing registered society is not permitted. Further, the proposed name for the society must also not suggest patronage of the Government of India or any State Government or attract the provisions of Emblem and Names Act, 1950.

Memorandum of a Society

The Memorandum of the Society and the Rules and Regulations of the Society must then be signed by each of the founding members, witnessed by an Oath Commissioner, Notary Public, Gazetted Officer, Advocate, Chartered Accountant or Magistrate 1st Class with their official stamp and complete address. The following documents must be prepared, signed and submitted for Society Registration:

  • Covering letter requesting registration of the Society, signed by all founding members.
  • Memorandum of Association of the Society in duplicate along with a certified copy.
  • Rules and Regulations of the Society in duplicate along with a duplicate, duly signed by the founding members.
  • Affidavit sworn by the President or Secretary of the Society stating relationship between the subscribers.
  • Address proof for the registered office of the Society and No-Objection Certificate from the Landlord.

The signed Memorandum and Rules and Regulations must then be filed with the concerned Registrar of Societies in the State with the prescribed fee. If the Registrar is satisfied with an application for Society Registration, the Registrar would certify to deem the Society to be registered

If you require assistance or advice for Society Registration in India, please contact Dr. Kalyan Goswami – Head of Association Management at [email protected] or +91 124 461 77 00.


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