Society is a non- profitable organization which is usually formed to do some good work to the society and not for some personal interests. Any funds or profits that are earned by the society during a period of time. These funds or profits should not be distributed between the members of the society, as doing so will dissolve the sole purpose of setting up the not-for-profit organization.
Society Registration in India
The Society Registration Act,1860 was introduced in India 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. Therefore The Societies Registration Act, 1860 has been managed by most of the State Governments with or without further amendments. The Society Registration requires the minimum of 7 members or more to register and Besides persons from India, foreigners, companies and other registered societies can subscribe to the Memorandum of a society. Like Partnership Firms. Each designated persons of society will be elected by an election once in 3 years or as specified by the law of society. No stamp paper is required for society registration. A society will be registered in the Registrar office under Societies Registration act 1860. Only for Maharashtra state, Society Registration is different because it will be registered with Charity Commissioner. To register a Society, the members of founding must first agree on a name for the Society and prepare the Memorandum and Rules and Regulations of the Society. Society registration has the main purpose to serve society and it does not mean to earn a profit.
Purpose of Society Registration
A Society Registration formed with the purpose of the development of science, fine arts, or literature or else for diffusion of purposeful knowledge or charitable purposes of political education. According to section 20 of Society Act, 1860, a society registration can be established for given purposes:
- Promotion or diffusion or instruction of useful knowledge.
- Foundation or Maintenance of libraries or reading rooms for general use.
- Foundation or Maintenance of public museum galleries of art and other artwork.
- Collection of natural history, mechanical and philosophical inventions, instruments or designs, etc.
- Grant of charitable assistance.
- The diffusion of political education.
- Promotion of science and literature.
- Promotion of fine arts.
- Creation of military orphan funds.
Once you have prepared the document, then you are ready to register your society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. However, ensure that you have all the essential documents in your hand (other than MOA and rules) for secure processing. The documents needed to be submitted to the Registrar are:
- A requesting registration letter, signed by all founding members.
- A certified copy of the MOA, which is signed by all the founding members, with a duplicate.
- A certified copy of the rules and regulations, that is signed by all the founding members, along with a duplicate copy.
- A table with the names and address and occupation of all members of the society with their physical signatures
- Minutes of the meeting (general body meeting conducted to set the rules and regulations)
- Declaration by the president of the society
- A sworn affidavit from the President or Secretary, declaring the relationship between the subscribers.
- Address proof of registered office if rented then obtain a no-objection certificate from the landlord.
Steps and Procedure for the Registration of a Society
- The members of society have to agree on a name for the society
- The members of society have to prepare the Memorandum and Rules and Regulations of the society.
- The following documents are prepared, signed and submitted for society registration:
- Covering letter requesting registration of the society, signed by all founding members.
- MOA 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 founding members
- Affidavit by the president or secretary of the society stating the relationship between the subscribers
- Address proof of the registered office of the society
- The signed MOA and rules and regulations are filed with the Registrar of societies.
Benefits of Society Registration
- Society registration allows society to maintain an individual existence.
- There are many benefits which are offered by the government to the not for profit ventures which are as follows:
- One of the essential benefits that are offered to the not for profit ventures is tax benefits.
- Non-profit ventures are eligible for income tax benefits if they are set up for charitable purposes and satisfy all the requirements of the Income Tax Act.
- A society registration can lease, rent, buy and sell a property, borrow money and enter contracts in its own name. No member of the society can have personal rights or interests in any of the assets of the society.
- An incorporated society will continue as a separate entity even though its membership changes.