What is NGO registration?

Published date: November 5, 2018

What is NGO registration?

If you are willing to establish a non-profit organization for the working with an objective of betterment ar advancement of any particular section of the society it is recommended to first get NGO Registration done. As NGO registration provides a legal entity to the organization which makes it more credible in the eyes of law and contributors.

What are the laws applicable for NGO Registration in India?

In India NGO registration can be done in three forms under their regulating Acts. These three options for NGO Registration are listed below:

  • Trust Registration under The Indian trusts Act, 1882
  • Society registration under Societies Registration Act, 1860
  • Section 8 Company Registration under Companies Act, 2013

What is the purpose of NGO registration?

What distinguishes a non-government organization from any other organization is the objective with which it is established. The main objective of every organization is that profit making as it ensures smooth functioning and future growth. However, NGO registration is done with only one objective i.e. to help others.

What are the modes for NGO Registration in India

As we discussed in India NGO registration is regulated by The Indian trusts Act, 1882, Societies Registration Act, 1860 and Companies Act, 2013 in the form of Trust, Society and section 8 Company respectively. Here, we will discuss in brief about these organization and their basic features one by one.


Trusts can be registered either as a public trust or a private trust. If you are planning to set up a trust with an objective of NGO registration, Public Trust is set up as per the applicable Act.

Basic Features

  • NGO registration as trust is regulated by respective state Trust Acts. In case the state in which NGO registration is planned does not have a separate Trust Act then t will be regulated by central Indian Trusts Act, 1882.
  • Name of such proposed trust is not required to be pre-reserved.
  • In order to register a trust minimum 2 trusties and 1 settler is required.
  • There are no clear provisions available for dissolving a registered public trust.
  • All the operating principles along with clear definition of beneficiary must be mentioned in the Trust’s incorporation document.


One can also incorporate a Society as per the regulations of Societies Registration Act 1860 as a non-profit organization.

Basic Features

  • Society registration and further regulation is done as per Societies Registration Act 1860. This Act is interpreted by many states in different manner. Thus , it must be paid attention before initiating NGO registration procedure.
  • Societies are basically membership based organizations.
  • For NGO registration as a society minimum 7 members are required. If you plan to register the society on a national level, then minimum 8 members will be required from different states.
  • Similar to Trust registration, no name reservation requirement is there in case of a Society. However, the applicant must not register with a name similar to any already registered society in that jurisdiction.
  • Any registered society can be dissolved by its members after a discussion among themselves.
  • All the operating principles along with clear defined rules and regulation must be mentioned in the memorandum of association of the Society.

Section 8 Company

NGO Registration can also be done in the form of a Section 8 Company under Companies Act, 2013. Unlike any other company, Section 8 Company is not allowed to issue any kind of dividend to its shareholders.

Basic Features

  • Section 8 Company is regulated by the provisions of Companies Act, 2013.
  • Minimum 2 directors are required to incorporate a Section 8 Company.
  • Minimum two promoters are required. Promoters (shareholders) can be same person who are appointed as directors.
  • Before filing final application for incorporation name of the proposed NGO must be approved. An application for the same is required to be submitted through RUN service.
  • All the operating principles along with clear defined rules and regulation must be mentioned in the memorandum of association and articles of association of the section 8 Company.

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