Society Registration in India

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Overview: Online Society Registration in India

In India, a society is an association of individuals with a shared interest, governed by the Society Registration Act, 1860. This act regulates the registration and functioning process of societies dedicated to promoting humanities, sciences, literature, or knowledge exchange for a beneficial cause or goal. To operate legally and effectively, societies must undergo the registration process.

FastLegal offers a seamless and secure online platform for society registration, simplifying the entire process. By choosing FastLegal, you can ensure compliance with legal requirements and receive expert support to establish a strong and thriving community. Join us today to make your society’s vision a reality!

Reason for Society Registration

Society registration is essential for several reasons, providing various benefits to the members and the organization as a whole:

  • Legal Recognition: Registering a society provides it with legal recognition and a distinct legal entity status. This recognition helps the society operate with legitimacy and protection under the law.
  • Perpetual Succession: A registered society enjoys the advantage of perpetual succession, meaning its existence is not affected by changes in its membership. The society continues to exist even if its members change over time.
  • Limited Liability: Members of a registered society are not personally liable for the society’s debts and obligations. Their liability is limited to the amount they contribute to the society’s funds.
  • Ability to Own Property: A registered society can acquire, own, and transfer property in its name. This allows the society to manage its assets effectively.
  • Credibility and Trust: Society registration enhances the credibility and trustworthiness of the organization in the eyes of the public, donors, and other stakeholders.
  • Access to Funding: Registered societies are eligible to receive government grants, funding from NGOs, and other financial support, which can aid in the smooth functioning of the society’s initiatives.
  • Tax Benefits: In many countries, including India, registered societies may enjoy tax exemptions and benefits, making it financially advantageous for the organization and its members.
  • Dispute Resolution: Registration provides a formal framework for dispute resolution, both within the society and with external parties, ensuring smoother conflict resolution.
  • Legal Standing in Contracts: A registered society can enter into contracts and agreements legally, protecting the interests of the society and its members in various dealings.

Overall, society registration offers a robust legal foundation and a host of benefits that enable the organization to achieve its goals and contribute positively to society.

Documents Required for Online Society Registration

The specific documents required for online society registration may vary depending on the country and its relevant laws and regulations. However, in general, the following are commonly required documents for online society registration:

  • Memorandum of Association (MOA):
    • This document outlines the objectives, aims, and purpose of the society. It defines the scope of activities the society will undertake.
  • Articles of Association (AOA):
    • The AOA contains the rules and regulations governing the internal functioning and management of the society.
  • Identity Proof of Members:
    • Identity documents, such as Aadhar card, passport, or driver’s license, of all the members associated with the society need to be submitted.
  • Address Proof of Members:
    • Address proof documents, such as utility bills, bank statements, or rental agreements, may be required to verify the residential addresses of the society’s members.
  • Passport-Sized Photographs:
    • Passport-sized photographs of the members are generally required for the registration process.
  • Proof of Registered Office:
    • Documentation confirming the registered office address of the society, such as a rental agreement or property ownership documents, is necessary.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC):
    • If the registered office is owned by someone else, an NOC from the owner is required to use the premises as the society’s registered office.
  • Minutes of the First Meeting:
    • Minutes of the first meeting of the governing body or managing committee should be provided.
  • PAN Card:
    • The Permanent Account Number (PAN) of the society needs to be furnished for taxation and financial purposes.
  • Bank Account Details:
    • Information related to the proposed bank account of the society, such as the name of the bank, branch, and account number, may be required.
  • Declaration by Members:
    • Members may need to submit a declaration stating their willingness to become part of the society and abide by its rules and regulations.

Ensuring that all these documents are correctly prepared and submitted will facilitate a smooth and efficient registration process for your society.

Online Society Registration

Online society registration follows a step-by-step process as defined by the Societies Registration Act of 1986. To successfully register a society, the following requirements must be met:

  • Minimum Members: A state society should have at least seven members. For national societies, at least eight members from eight distinct states, including one from Delhi, are required.
  • Jurisdiction: The applicable jurisdiction for the society’s registered office is where the registration process will take place, in front of the district registrar of that specific region.
  • Societies Registration Act: The registration process is governed by the Societies Registration Act of 1986.
  • Property Management: The registered society can own property in its name and may sell it as per the conditions mentioned in its bylaws.
  • Dissolution: In the event of dissolution, the registered society must settle all its debts and liabilities and donate any remaining funds to other societies with similar objectives. The funds should not be distributed among the members.
  • Executive Committee: The society’s executive committee consists of a president, secretary, treasurer, and a vice president.
  • Annual Compliance: Societies are required to submit an annual list of their managing committee members’ names, addresses, and positions to the Registrar of Societies.

By adhering to these requirements and following the proper procedures, a society can be successfully registered online under the Societies Registration Act, allowing it to operate legally and fulfill its objectives effectively.

Society Compliances Post Registration

Post-registration, societies need to ensure various compliances to maintain their legal status and operate smoothly. Some of the essential compliances for societies include:

  • Acquire a PAN Card: Obtain a Permanent Account Number (PAN) for the society. It is essential for financial transactions and taxation purposes.
  • Establish a Bank Account: Open a bank account in the name of the registered society. All financial transactions should be conducted through this account.
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping: Maintain proper accounting records, including income and expenditure statements, balance sheets, and other financial documents.
  • Yearly IT Filings: File annual income tax returns with the tax authorities as per the prescribed timelines.
  • GST Registration: If the society’s annual turnover exceeds the specified threshold (varies by country), register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) if applicable.
  • Professional Tax Registration: Register for professional tax if it is a requirement in the relevant jurisdiction.
  • Compliance with Registrar of Firms: Submit the necessary documents, including AGM resolutions, financial information, and a member list, to the Registrar of Firms as per their requirements.

It is crucial for societies to be aware of these compliances and fulfill their obligations promptly. Engaging with financial and legal professionals can help ensure smooth compliance with the post-registration requirements, allowing the society to function legally and effectively.

Applicability of Tax Exemption

The prevalent belief that societies working for the welfare of the general population are automatically exempt from paying taxes is a misconception. Just like any other legitimate entity, societies are required to pay taxes on their income unless they qualify for specific tax exemptions under the applicable tax laws.

In many countries, including India, societies can avail tax exemptions by obtaining certain certificates from the income tax authorities. Two common certificates are:

  • 12A Certificate: Under Section 12A of the Income Tax Act, societies engaged in charitable or religious activities can apply for a 12A certificate. This certificate grants them exemption from paying income tax on their surplus income, provided the income is applied for charitable or religious purposes.
  • 80G Certificate: Under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, donors who contribute to societies with a valid 80G certificate can claim tax deductions on their donations. This certificate encourages individuals and businesses to support charitable activities and initiatives.

It’s important to note that the process of obtaining these certificates may involve meeting specific criteria and complying with the requirements of the tax authorities. Societies must ensure that they meet all the necessary conditions to qualify for tax exemptions and maintain the proper documentation to support their tax-exempt status.

Society Registration Renewal Online

  • Check Renewal Period: Determine the renewal period for your society registration. In most cases, society registration is valid for a specific period, and renewal is required before the expiration date.
  • Gather Required Documents: Prepare all the necessary documents for the renewal process, which may include the original registration certificate, updated address proof, identity proofs of the governing body members, financial statements, and any other required documents.
  • Online Application: Visit the official website of the relevant government department or regulatory authority responsible for society registration. Look for the specific section related to society renewal.
  • Create an Account: If required, create an account on the online portal using your society’s details and contact information.
  • Fill Renewal Form: Complete the online renewal form by providing accurate information and uploading the required documents.
  • Payment of Fees: Pay the renewal fees online through the designated payment gateway.
  • Verification: After submitting the renewal application and payment, the relevant authorities will review the documents and process the renewal request. They may conduct verification checks if necessary.
  • Renewal Certificate: Upon successful verification, you will receive the renewed registration certificate electronically.

It’s essential to stay updated on any changes in the renewal process and requirements in your specific country or region. If you are unsure about the process, it is advisable to visit the official website of the concerned regulatory authority or seek legal assistance to ensure a smooth and timely renewal of your society registration online.

Why FastLegal

We make it easier for entrepreneurs to get their society registration online from the comfort of their home. With FastLegal, you can get your registration done in just 5-10 working days. We provide a comprehensive package that includes not only the registration process but also guidance through the entire process. This includes verification, filing of the documents, and obtaining the certificate. By choosing FastLegal, NGOs can benefit from our expertise, efficiency, and commitment to ensuring smooth registration and compliance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Society Registration

Society registration refers to the process of legally establishing a society as a separate entity with defined objectives and governing rules. It is necessary to enjoy legal recognition, limited liability for members, credibility, and access to various benefits like tax exemptions and fundraising opportunities.

Society registration offers several benefits, including legal recognition, perpetual existence, limited liability for members, credibility, tax exemptions, ownership of property, access to funding, and a formal framework for dispute resoluti

The process for online society registration may vary based on your country’s laws. Generally, it involves filling out an online application form, providing necessary documents, and making the required payments. Check with the relevant regulatory authority or consult legal professionals for specific guidance.

Commonly required documents for society registration include the Memorandum of Association (MOA), Articles of Association (AOA), identity and address proofs of members, proof of registered office, and minutes of the first meeting.

Yes, in many countries, including India, registered societies may qualify for tax exemptions by obtaining certificates like 12A and 80G from the income tax authorities. These certificates provide tax benefits to the society and its donors.

Societies are typically required to hold an AGM within a specific period after the end of each financial year. During the AGM, members discuss financial statements, elect governing body members, and address important matters concerning the society.

Society registration is usually valid for a specific period. After the expiration, it requires renewal to maintain its legal status and continue operations as a registered society.

Yes, a registered society can acquire, hold, and transfer property in its name. It enables the society to manage its assets efficiently.

Yes, a registered society can be dissolved if its members decide to do so. In case of dissolution, the society must settle its debts and liabilities and distribute the remaining funds for charitable purposes as per the laws.

To update society information, such as address, governing body members, or objectives, the society must inform the relevant authority and file the required documents as per the regulatory guidelines.

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