Registered (charitable) Societies
The Societies Registration Act 1860 (the Act)* is a Central Government Act on Societies established for promoting literature, science, or the fine arts, or for the diffusion of useful knowledge, the diffusion of political education, or for charitable purposes.
Types of Societies that may be registered under the Act
- Charitable Societies
- Societies established for the promotion of Science, Literature, Fine Arts
- Societies for Nature, Environmental and Pollution Control
- Societies for Health, Medicine and Research
- Societies for Sports, Education and Social Welfare etc.
Income Tax Benefits
Charitable and Non-Profit Societies registered under the Act may be potentially entitled to income tax benefits including complete/partial exemption from income tax obligations and liabilities on any income earned, donations received etc. and/or may be allowed to pass on certain benefits to financial donors, where such Society applies to and is approved for the same by the relevant Income Tax authorities in accordance with the Income Tax Act 1961.
*Various States of India have also enacted their own versions of the Act and/or rules and regulations for registering and regulating Societies pursuing some or more of the above the said objects. Therefore, the (State) place of founding or registering such a Society may determine the principal legislation applicable to it and related rights, duties, benefits and obligations thereunder. This informative page only relates to the Act and Societies registered in the jurisdiction of the Delhi Government.
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Memorandum of Association (MoA)
The Memorandum of Association (MoA) is the constitutional or founding document with respect to a Registered Society under the Act and requires at least 7 persons associated for prescribed purposes to subscribe their names to such MoA.
The Act requires the MoA to contain the following things —
- Name of the Society
- Object(s) of the Society
- Names, addresses, and occupations of the Governors, Council, Directors, Committee, or other ‘Governing Body’ (entrusted with management of the Society’s affairs as per Society Rules)
- Copy of the Society Rules and Regulations (certified to be a correct copy by not less than 3 members of the Governing Body and filed with the MoA)
For the purposes of the Act, a ‘member‘ of a Society is a person who, having been admitted therein according to the rules and regulations thereof, has paid a subscription, or signed the roll or list of members thereof, and who has not have resigned from such membership in accordance with such rules and regulations.
The ‘Governing Body’ of the Society are the governors, council, directors, committee, trustees, or other body to whom, via the rules and regulations of the Society concerned, the management of its affairs are entrusted.
General Documentation and Registration Procedure
For the purpose of registration of a Registered (charitable) Society, the basic requirements would generally include —
- Submission of a ‘Request Letter’ (or registration form) with prescribed fees to register a Society with the relevant State’s Registrar of Societies or other such prescribed authority
- Two sets of Memorandum of Association including the list of proposed ‘Governing Body’ and list of ‘Founder Members’ (not less than 7 in number) subscribing to the same
- Two sets of Society Rules and Regulations (as may be framed and copies certified to be a correct)
- Affidavits (on prescribed value of stamp paper from President/Secretary of Society concerned
- Copy of residence proof of all said “Founder Members’
- Copy of the report of relevant ‘General Meeting’ proceedings (wherein registration of the Society was resolved)
- Proof of ownership of the registered office of the concerned Society and ‘no objection certificate’ (on prescribed stamp paper)
- ‘Consent Letters’ of all listed members of the Governing Body/Managing Committee etc.
Registrar of Societies
All the documents mentioned above would be required to be submitted in duplicate or 2 sets, together with the required registration fee (which may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and subject to change) to the jurisdictional Registrar of Societies or other such description. Upon receiving the set of documents, the concerned Registrar of Societies’ office verifies the same, and if found in order issues a registration certificate to the society upon the completion of the verification procedure.
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