NGO Registration by noor siddiuqi from
NGO Registration by noor siddiqui from

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

What is an NGO?

NGO Registration-In social development and community welfare, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) stand as pillars of support and change. An NGO is essentially a non-profit organization that operates independently of government influence, with a primary goal of contributing to the betterment of society, particularly focusing on underprivileged sections. NGOs can be structured in various forms such as trusts, societies, or non-profit companies (commonly referred to as Section 8 Companies), each chosen based on the nature of activities they intend to undertake.

Types of NGO Registrations

NGOs in India operate under specific legal frameworks depending on their chosen structure:

1. Trust Registration

Under the Trust Registration Act of 1860, NGOs can register as trusts. This involves entrusting property to trustees who manage it for the benefit of others, as outlined in the trust’s objectives.

2. Society Registration

Societies can be registered under the Society Registration Act of 1860. Societies are democratic organizations established to promote charitable, literary, or scientific purposes for the public benefit.

3. Section 8 Company Registration

NGOs can also register as Section 8 Companies under the Companies Act of 2013. These companies are formed with the objective of promoting commerce, art, science, sports, education, research, social welfare, religion, charity, protection of the environment, or any such other object.

Purpose and Importance of NGO Registration

The registration process for NGOs involves significant scrutiny, ensuring that these organizations are genuinely committed to their stated causes. Unlike private limited companies, which can be established relatively quickly, NGOs undergo a more rigorous vetting process, typically taking longer to set up. This scrutiny is essential to maintain the integrity and legitimacy of NGOs, safeguarding against misuse or exploitation of resources.

The time required for NGO registration varies depending on the chosen structure:

  • Section 8 Company: Approximately 75 days
  • Society: Around 45 days
  • Trust: Approximately 20 days

Pre-Requisites to NGO Registration

Before initiating the registration process, certain prerequisites must be fulfilled:

  1. Digital Signature: Obtaining a digital signature issued by government-recognized authorities is mandatory for signing registration forms electronically.
  2. Director’s Identification Number (DIN): Applying for DIN via Form DIR-3, signed by a chartered accountant or company secretary, is necessary for directors.

Documents Required for NGO Registration

The documentation needed for registration varies based on the chosen structure:

For Trust Registration:

  • Electricity or Water bill serving as address proof
  • Identity proof of two members (e.g., voter ID, driving license, passport, Aadhaar card)

For Society Registration:

  • Office address proof
  • Identity proof of nine members
  • Copy of bylaws and memorandum of association

For Section 8 Company Registration:

  • Company name approval
  • Office address proof
  • Identity proof for all directors
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association

Forms Required for Registration

Several forms are necessary for the registration process:

  • Form INC 1: For NGO registration
  • Form INC 7: Application for incorporation
  • Form INC 12: For Section 8 Company license application
  • Form INC 13: Memorandum of Association
  • Form INC 22: Details of the registered address
  • Form DIR 12: For director appointments

Procedure of Incorporation

The incorporation process involves several steps:

  1. DSC and DIN Acquisition: Obtaining Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) for directors and filing Form DIR-3 with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) to acquire Director Identification Numbers (DIN).
  2. Company Name Application: Filing Form INC-1 with the ROC for company name approval.
  3. License Application: Submitting Form INC-12 for Section 8 Company license application, along with necessary documents.
  4. Approval and Certification: Upon approval, the company receives its license and incorporation certificate from the ROC.

Benefits of NGO Registration

Society Registration:

  • Separate Legal Entity: Societies have legal recognition distinct from their members.
  • Limited Liability: Members are not personally liable for the organization’s debts.
  • Legal Protection: Societies enjoy legal safeguards for their operations.
  • Exemption from Income Tax: Societies are often eligible for tax exemptions.

Section 8 Company Registration:

  • No Minimum Capital Required: There’s no stipulated minimum capital requirement.
  • Separate Legal Entity: Section 8 Companies have their legal identity.
  • Tax Exemptions: Enjoy tax benefits under relevant provisions.
  • No Stamp Duty Payable: Relief from stamp duty obligations.
  • No Title Required: There’s no mandate for a specific title, offering flexibility in naming.


NGOs play a crucial role in addressing societal issues and promoting social welfare. Their registration under appropriate legal frameworks ensures transparency, accountability, and adherence to regulatory standards. By understanding the nuances of NGO registration and the benefits associated with different structures, organizations can effectively channel their efforts towards creating meaningful and sustainable impact in society.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about NGO Registration

1. What is an NGO?

Answer: An NGO, or Non-Governmental Organization, is a non-profit entity that operates independently of government influence. NGOs work towards various social causes such as poverty alleviation, education, healthcare, environmental conservation, and human rights.

2. Why is NGO registration necessary?

Answer: NGO registration is necessary to establish legal recognition, acquire tax exemptions, and operate transparently. It also provides credibility and accountability, essential for fundraising and garnering support from stakeholders.

3. What are the different types of NGO registrations?

Answer: NGOs can be registered as trusts, societies, or Section 8 companies, depending on their objectives and activities. Trusts are registered under the Trust Registration Act of 1860, societies under the Society Registration Act of 1860, and Section 8 companies under the Companies Act of 2013.

4. What is the difference between trusts, societies, and Section 8 companies?


  • Trusts: Managed by trustees who hold and manage property for the benefit of others. They are governed by a trust deed.
  • Societies: Democratic organizations formed to promote charitable, literary, or scientific objectives. They are governed by bylaws and a memorandum of association.
  • Section 8 Companies: Non-profit companies established to promote social welfare, education, art, science, etc. They are governed by the Companies Act and operate similarly to regular companies but without profit motives.

5. What are the benefits of NGO registration?


  • Legal Recognition: Registered NGOs are legally recognized entities, providing credibility and trustworthiness.
  • Tax Exemptions: Registered NGOs are often eligible for tax exemptions on their income and donations received.
  • Limited Liability: Members or trustees of registered NGOs have limited liability, protecting their personal assets.
  • Access to Funds: Registered NGOs can access grants, donations, and other funding opportunities more easily.
  • Transparent Operations: Registration mandates transparency in operations, ensuring accountability to stakeholders.

6. What is the process for NGO registration?

Answer: The process for NGO registration involves obtaining digital signatures, director identification numbers (DIN), selecting a suitable structure (trust, society, or Section 8 company), preparing necessary documents, filing registration forms with the relevant authorities, and obtaining approval.

7. How long does NGO registration take?

Answer: The duration for NGO registration varies depending on the chosen structure and the efficiency of the regulatory authorities. Generally, trust registration takes around 20 days, society registration takes about 45 days, and Section 8 company registration may take up to 75 days.

8. What documents are required for NGO registration?

Answer: The documents required for NGO registration vary based on the chosen structure but typically include address proof, identity proof of members/trustees/directors, memorandum of association, articles of association, trust deed (for trusts), and bylaws (for societies).

9. Are there any prerequisites for NGO registration?

Answer: Yes, before initiating the registration process, it is necessary to obtain digital signatures from government-recognized authorities and apply for director identification numbers (DIN) for directors or trustees.

10. Can foreign nationals or organizations register an NGO in India?

Answer: Yes, foreign nationals or organizations can register NGOs in India, subject to compliance with relevant regulations and obtaining necessary approvals from the government authorities, including the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration for receiving foreign funds.

These FAQs aim to address common queries regarding NGO registration, providing clarity on the process, requirements, benefits, and implications for organizations aiming to establish themselves in the non-profit sector.

Author Note:

This comprehensive guide on NGO registration was authored by Noor Siddiqui, a dedicated contributor from Noor Siddiqui brings expertise and insights into the realm of legal and financial matters, particularly in the domain of non-profit organizations. With a commitment to providing accurate and valuable information, Noor Siddiqui endeavors to empower individuals and organizations seeking to establish NGOs by demystifying the registration process and highlighting its significance. For further inquiries or assistance regarding NGO registration and related legal matters, feel free to reach out to Noor Siddiqui and the team at

This author note serves to attribute the content to Noor Siddiqui from while providing context about the author’s expertise and affiliation.