How To Start An NGO In India – NGO Registration Process


If you have reached to this thought of starting an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) in India, well indeed, you deserve a good pat on your back! There are many NGO start ups emerging in the lands of India in the recent years. If you are at the search of how to register an NGO in India, your search ends here! Starting an NGO in India can be little difficult, but not farfetched! Some good knowledge about its registration process on ‘how to register’ and other formalities helps you to go ahead with it.

Well, NGO intends to promote a specific cause or welfare of humanity. These are non profitable organizations unlike other business entities, so here you know the purpose of your NGO, which is mainly a charitable intended venture, but not profit making. Before you proceed with its set up, a detailed check on the government regulations on starting an NGO would be needed. To give more clarity in starting an NGO in India, here are some steps you need to follow:

  1. First and foremost analyze the mission and ultimate goal of your NGO. By this, you can figure out that what you have to do and from where exactly you have to start!
  2. After this, form a governing body that focus on the decision making in the NGO. This is in fact to be formed before the registration of your NGO in India. The focus of he governing body has to be strategic formulations, to plan things, fund raising aspects, managing the people and IT related activities.
  3. As per the Indian rules, while you open an NGO, you have to do trust deed documentation. In other words, form a Memorandum of understanding that describes your NGO contact details, its goal, mission and vision, policies, procedures, laws and so on.

 How To Register An NGO In India?

All these are to be arranged and done before you start the registration process. Now it’s the turn to register your NGO, which has to be according to the Indian laws. In India, to start an NGO, it can be done through some acts, as below:

Indian Trust Act: If you are forming a charitable trust, then it is mandatory to get a registration. However, in case of a need for income tax exemption, you can go for its registration. Also, if you are planning to start an NGO in a state where Public Trust Act is applicable, say, Maharashtra, it is better to get a registration.

Companies Act: If the intention of your NGO is to promote any art forms, or science, business or religion related activities, The registration of the NGO has to be in the form of a company. However, unlike a profitable business organization, the profits of the NGO go to the objectives of the NGO, and not to its members.

Societies Registration Act: If your NGO is having more than seven members, it is ideal for you to start NGO as a society. However, on a dim side, the process of registration is more difficult compared to other types. On a lighter side, this type of registration is comparatively tightened with fewer regulations.

Raising Fund for your NGO.. How To Raise Funds?

Next comes about raising fund for your NGO. You can either opt for internal resources. This can be through claiming membership fees for the events conducted, or through selling the products like handicrafts etc, by getting donations from people or institutions etc. Funds are also raised from government’s aids, foreign companies/people. As per Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) 1976, fund raising from foreign sources can give you tax exemptions!

A look at NGO Registration process in India

Any nonprofit organization or NGO can be registered as a trust, society or Section-25 Company in India. Your decision on its choice can be related to the NGO objectives also. Let’s see how these turn to be:

  1. Trusts: Formation of a charitable trust is basically done when you plan to involve a property like land or building.

Legislation: Based on the state that you plans to start the trust, there will be difference in each trust act in different states. Hence, you need to look at the norms of the local trust act. In case the state does not have trust act, then you can carry out the registration process based on the norms of Indian Trust Act 1882.

Main Instrument: Trust Deed is the main instrument of a public charitable trust, in which there will be the objectives of the management. Trust deed also shows the number of trustees, the ways of managing the trust, the trust objectives, whom to be appointed or to be removed and so on. Signing of Trust Deed is to be done by both settler and trustee in front of two witnesses. In a trust, the number of trustees has to be two at least.

Registration application: You have to forward the registration application to the officer who have the jurisdiction in the place where you plan to open the NGO. Details regarding the name of the trust, number of trustees etc to be filled in the application form, which is to be affixed with a Rs.2 court fee stamp. You can submit both trust deed and this application form together.

  1. Society: As per Societies Registration Act, 1860 (section 20), restriction to the registration as society applies to societies formed with the intention to promote art, science, Political studies, formation of libraries, galleries and museums, history or mechanical based societies, military orphan funds etc.

Trustees: For a society, there is a requirement of minimum seven members and no maximum limit. The management can be formed as a governing body or a body of executive committee.

Application for registration of an NGO: You can register the society in the registrar office at a state level or in the district magistrate office or Registrar of society local office, at a district level. The registration process is different in each state. While submitting the application form, you have to also submit the memorandum of association (MOA), all members consent letters, authority letter that I signed by all the society members, the president’s affidavit in Rs.20/- stamp paper and also the declaration given by all committee members stating that the society fund will be utilized for only its object and aim. The duplicate of these forms to be submitted along with a nominal registration fees. Here, the MOA need not to be submitted in stamp paper.

  1. Section-25 Company

If your intention is to promote art, science, charity purpose etc, as per the company act of 1956 (Sec 25(1) (a) and (b), then you can form the NGO as a Section-25 company. However, its income is used only for the objectives of NGO and no divided is shared among the members.

Legislation: Registration of Section-25 Company is done as per the Indian companies Act, 1956.

Main Instrument: The main instrument of your Section-25 company is Memorandum and articles of Association. However, you are not required to register it in a stamp paper.

Trustees: Trustees number limits to a minimum of three members for a section-25 company with no upper limit of trustees.

Application for Registration: In a prescribed form (1A), you need to submit the application form to the registrar of companies for choosing the NGO name, along with a Rs.500/- fee. A choice of three names can be given so that the registrar can choose as per the name availability. After name availability, you need to write the application to the regional director along with the printed copy of memorandum. The memorandum should include promoters name and address, statement showing asset details, statement showing work description, consent of each members that application is made in their sound mind etc. The application is to be submitted to the registrar of companies.


  1. We are the group of 25 ladiesdoing charitable work of rice distribution to needy people If we get some fund we can do it in very effective way.At present we collect money and do itas much as possible.Need help

  2. I want to open NGO where i want to help the children who are unable to go to school…….and providing meal for the children who are unable to have food.

    Guide me..

  3. Sar, i want to help poor . that’s area there till not come eduction & humanity. Lick my village. Plz help me about .