A Society is one type of Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), famous for its non-commercial and non-charitable purpose. It is an organization or union formed by a group of people, united together by mutual consent, for the promotion of a common cause without any monetary gain. Here common cause means the purposes for which a society is formed. Acc. to Sec. 20 of the Societies Registration Act, 1860, such purposes of the Society include:

  1. Promotion of education, literature, science, arts, religion, music, sports, etc. 
  2. Distributing effective knowledge
  3. Providing charitable help
  4. Formulating military orphan funds
  5. Establishing and maintaining libraries or reading rooms
  6. Establishing and maintaining public museums and galleries
  7. Undertaking social welfare and development and
  8. Advancement of charitable causes.

Society is governed by the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Such organizations have wide memberships. Its activities are managed by a body of individuals, who are elected periodically.

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Persons who can apply for registration of a Society:

A minimum of 7 persons are required for registration of a society. Following are a list of members who can apply for the memorandum of association of a society:-

  1. Partnership firms
  2. Limited companies
  3. Foreign and Indian companies
  4. Registered societies
  5. A person above the age of 18 years, i.e., an adult
  6. Foreigners or a non-resident of India

Documents required for registration of Society:

The below-mentioned documents are needed for the registration of a society-

  1. The name of the said Society,
  2. Address proof of the office of the said Society,
  3. ID proofs such as Aadhaar Card or Voter ID, or Passport of the nine members of Society,
  4. Memorandum of Association (two copies),
  5. Society Bye-laws (two copies).

The procedure of Registration of Society:

In the area of the registered office of the Society, an applicant should apply for the registration of the said Society. The registration is done under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. For the purpose of registration, the authorities of the state government administer the registration process of the said Society. Nowadays, the registration is done online. For the registration, one needs to visit the official portal of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). 

The steps of online registration are as follows:

Name of the Society: The first and foremost step for the registration is the selection of a unique name. To file a unique name, one must do comprehensive research. The applicant must ensure that the name which has been chosen for the Society is not similar to any pre-existing society or incorporated body. Societies Registration Act, 1860 does not give permission to use similar or identical names, which already exist. All the members of the Society must give written consent to the Registrar after the selection of the name of the said Society.

The name which has been chosen for the Society must not be a name which suggests any form of patronage by the Central Government or any State Government in India. It should not belong to the list of the restricted names as per the provisions of the Emblems and Names Act, 1950.


  1. An applicant wants to register a society with the name “Nehru SESC Ltd”, and another society comes to oppose the name since it is already registered with the identical name. Even after raising opposition, if the new applicant wants to move ahead with the same name, then the other applicant has the right to oppose the said Society’s registration under the Society Registration Act, 1860 or under the Trade Marks Act, 1999.
  2. An applicant wants to register a society with the name “Cultural Society of Government of India”. The applicant will be prohibited from registering the said Society since the name represents the patronage of the Government of India. Hence, it provides a false impression to the mass, that the said Society is acknowledged and supported by the Government of India, which is not true. So the registration of the said Society will be prohibited under the Schedule attached to the Emblems and Names Act, 1950, for the reason of wrong selection of the name.

Draft of the Memorandum of Association:

Memorandum of Association outlines the rules and regulations to be adhered to by the Society and by the members of Society. Each founding member of the said Society must sign the Memorandum of Association (MOA) with Rules and Regulations of the Society, and this should be witnessed by either a Notary Public or Chartered Accountant or Oath Commissioner or Gazetted Officer or First Class Magistrate or Advocate with their official stamp, along with their complete addresses.

A Memorandum of Association (MOA) should contain the following things-

  • Name of the Society
  • Aim and objectives of the Society
  • The operational area of the Society
  • The registered office of the Society
  • Name of the desirous persons of the Society
  • Details such as names, occupations, and addresses of the Executive Body or Governing Body.

In the Memorandum of Association (MOA), there should be a table containing a list of names, addresses, and occupations of all the members of the said Society, being the members of the general body along with their signatures. Another table is also included in the Memorandum of Association (MOA), which contains the names and designations of the members of the said Society, who are going to be Office Bearers of the Executive body as President, General Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President, Joint Secretary, etc., their signatures should also be provided on that table.

A MOA can be typed or written or printed on plain paper. The members must distribute various designations among themselves. These members are collectively called the governing body, which controls the proper functioning of the Society. All the members of the Society are elected for a specific period and can be re-elected.

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At the end of each page of the Memorandum of Association (MOA), the Rules and Regulations (By-Laws) of the said Society should be certified by three office bearers such as the President, Vice President, and Chairman of such Society. It must specify some clauses or aspects, such as-

  • Constitution of the Society,
  • Details of the Office Bearer,
  • Terms of Member’s Termination,
  • Audit Compliance,
  • Meeting clause,
  • Legal procedures,
  • Source of income of the Society,
  • Membership and Subscription clause,
  • Election Norms,
  • Society’s Dissolution.

Other necessary documents:

For registration, documentation plays a vital role. According to the Societies Registration Act, 1860, the other necessary documents which need to be affixed are as follows-

  1. ID proof of the members,
  2. Declaration by the President of the Society,
  3. Cover letter signed by all founding members, requesting the registration of the said Society,
  4. Minutes of the meeting,
  5. Certified copy of duly passed resolution regarding registration of the said Society.

Submission of all necessary documents with the concerned Registrar:

After the preparation of all the necessary documents, the Memorandum of Association with the rules and regulations (by-laws) should be submitted to the concerned Registrar, along with the Registration Fees. The fee that is charged with registration is specified by the State Government. Once the Registrar is satisfied with the terms and conditions of the organization and is convinced that the documents filed are genuine, he then certifies the said Society as a registered one. The status of the registration can be checked on the official portal of MCA. It takes almost a month to get it registered.


Registration gives a society a list of merits, which are as follows-

  1. Society gains legal status through registration.
  2. When a Society is incorporated, it gets Income Tax exemptions.
  3. Society has the right to buy, sell, rent, and right to lease as well.
  4. Members are liable to pay debt and other obligations for the commission of unlawful activities. 
  5. Bank accounts can be opened by Society.
  6. Society acquires recognition in front of forums. 


Often a society faces some limitations, which can be considered as disadvantages or demerits of the said Society. Such disadvantages are as follows-

  1. Only when a society takes part in charitable activities, it gets the benefit of tax exemption from the Income Tax Department. Without charitable activities, there is no tax exemption provided to the said Society.
  2. A society cannot practice operations based on profit motives since it works for non-profit, charitable purposes.
  3. Lack of professionalism makes the investors reluctant to invest in societies.
  4. Being unincorporated bodies as per law, society is not permitted to accept deposits from the public. 
  5. They are not allowed to collect any savings from its clients.
  6. There is no concept of equity investment or ownership. That’s why it keeps commercial investors away from investing in microfinance. 
  7. Investing in bulk in a society is not a very good option for commercial investors.


Societies are formed to help in all forms of charitable causes since they work on a non-profit base. When a society is registered, it becomes a legal entity, gains legal status. It also brings uniformity at the same time. This helps in better governance as well. Registration of Society gives a boost to the legal conditions of Society and also helps in acquiring legal status in India. It also helps in improving the civic life of the people of our country. 

For more information, please contact us on or call us Mb. No. 85100 58386 or 9310 717274.