Registration of Society

A Society / Association is an organized group of people with the sole aim and objectives of non-profitable service. Societies are governed by the Societies Registration Act of 1860 or its versions in force in different states. Unlike trusts, a society has a more democratic process and procedures with membership and an elected body to manage the society. Registration of such a Society/Association will have legal recognition and thereby makes it possible to run society legally with discipline. Society can sue and be sued. A minimum of 7 persons who have attained the age of 18 years can form a society or an Association.

It is also pertinent to note that Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) or also known as Non-Profit Organisations can be set up in the form of “Society” form as well. Forming NGO’s in such form will have the following benefits

  1. Unlike Section 8 Company, the formation of Society is Easier, Quicker and less time consuming
  2. Minimum 7 members are required to form a Society and Registration is government by Societies Registration Act of the respective state, where it is proposed to be registered.
  3. There is no maximum limit on the number of members is prescribed.
  4. Society can get registered under Section 12A and Section 80G of the Income Tax Act 1961 provided its activities qualifies for such registrations
  5. Registration of the society under Section 80G will enable the donor of the NGO/ Society to avail 50% deduction of such donations under this section, from his taxable income.
  6. Registration of the society under Section 12A of the Income Tax Act 1961, will enable the society to claim income tax exemption under sections 11 and 12 of the Act, subject to provision of the act.
  7. Compliance burden is less compared to Section 8 Company.
  8. Compared to Section 8 Company, Management and administration of the society is simple.

We Provide the following Services with respect to Society

  1. Drafting of Bye-Laws, MOA, Affidavit and Application for registration
  2. Formation and Registration of Society with the Registrar
  3. Applying for PAN And TAN
  4. Applying for 12A and 80G Registration for eligible Society and renewal of the same.
  5. Audit of Society
  6. Filing of Income Tax Returns
  7. Assistance in Accounting, Book Keeping, Payroll Processing, Back Office Management and Other Statutory Compliances
  8. Assistance in Amendment of Society and updating the same with the registrar

For brief understanding we have here below, enumerated few Frequently Asked Question with respect to “Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960”

Q1 What type of societies can be registered under the Societies Registration Act 1960?

The societies related to the promotion of charity, education science, literature or Fine arts, promotion of sports, the instruction and diffusion of knowledge relating to commerce or industry or any other useful knowledge, diffusion of political education, maintenance of libraries, the promotion of conservation and proper use of natural resources may be registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act,1960.

Q2 What are the basic requirements for the registration of a society?

Name, objectives, Registered office, Memorandum of Association, at least 7 members are required for registering a society.

Q3 Whether Trusts can be registered under this Act?

No. Trusts cannot be registered under this Act.

Q4 What is the amount of fees for Registration of societies and amendment of rules?

For Registering a new society fee is Rs. 1000/- in Bangalore and Rs. 500/- in other places of the State (50% concession in fees is allowed in respect of women and SC/ST societies). for filing of change of name, rules and regulations of amendment of rules - fee is Rs 250/-

Q5 What is the fee for filing Annual returns under this Act?

For every one lakh rupees of income and expenditure of the society or part there of Rs 100/- has to be remitted as a fee to the government.

Q6 Whether the society has to file the documents with the Registrar every year?

Yes. Each year within 14 days of Annual General body meeting, the society has to file with the Registrar, details of Committee members, Balance sheet, income and expenditure and auditors report issued by Chartered Accountant.

Q7 What happens if a society does not file the above details with the registrar?

As per section 13 of the Societies Registration Act 1960, every society has to compulsorily file the above details every year. If it fails to do so, for a consecutive period of 5 years, then the Registrar may after giving an opportunity, cancel the registration of such a society.

Q8 Can the Registrar condone the delay in filing the returns?

If the Registrar is satisfied that the reason for the delay in filing annual returns is bonafide, then he may condone the delay and permit the society to file such records with fine of Rs 100/ for each belated year.

Q9 What is the minimum no. of members required for forming a society under this Act?

Minimum of 7 members above the age of 18.

Q10 Can a society be registered with undesirable names?


Q11 If the Registrar refuses to register a society, where one has to go for an appeal?

Karnataka Appellate Tribunal.

Q12 Can Societies registered under this Act be converted into Trust?

Societies registered under this Act cannot be converted into a Trust.

Q13 Whether individual members are entitled to receive any profit of the society?


Q14 What should not be there in the name of the society?

The name shall not be:

  1. Similar to one already existing
  2. Name prohibited or registered by State or Central Government
  3. Indian Instituite or University

Q15 What are the follow up actions after registration of society?

  1. First General Body meeting should be held within 18 months
  2. Society should get accounts audited by the Chartered Accountant and get it approved by the General Body every year and file it with the registrar within 14 days from the General Body meeting;
  3. Society shall elect Executive Committee members as per its bye-law.

Q16 Can memorandum, bye-laws of society be amended? If so, what is the procedure?

Memorandum can be amended by approval in a special General Body Meeting called for the purpose after giving due notice and by approval another special General Body Meeting called after 30 days again. Bye-laws can be amended by the approval of the majority of members in the Special General Body Meeting. Such amended bye-laws shall be filed with the Registrar within one month.

Q17 Can registered societies be cancelled? Who can cancel? Is there a provision for appeal?

Yes. If a society is engaged in illegal activity, Registrar may enquire under Section 25 and cancel under Sec.27 after giving notice about such cancellation. Dissolution held as per Sec.22. An appeal may be preferred within 60 days from the date of order.

Q18 Can Registrar enquire into the affairs of a Society? If so on what account and occasion?

Under section 25 of the Act, Registrar may make suo moto inquiry or on application by 2/3 of the executive committee members or 1/3 of total members. Such inquiries are held with reference to the constitution, working or financial condition of the Society. The Registrar himself or any person appointed by him may hold an inquiry.

Q19 Can anybody other than member of Society inspect the records of the Society and get a copy of it?

Yes, since records of the Society are deemed to be public records. Under section 24 any person can get a copy and produce as evidence on payment of such fee as may be prescribed

Q20 What are the documents to be filed for registration of a society?

(a) Application with the prescribed fee

(b) Proceedings of the first meeting

(c) Bye-Law and Memorandum of Association

(d) List of members of Executive Committee with name, designation, address, occupation, age and signature

(e) Affidavit from the President

(f) PAN, Photo ID Proof and Address Proof of the members

(g) Proof of Registered Office Address and NOC from the Owner

Q20 What are the differences between `Trust' and `Society' registered under Karnataka Societies Registration Act 1960?

Society Trust
District Registrar and Registrar of Societies is competent authority to register Trust deed can be registered in the Office of the Sub Registrar.
Governed by the “Societies Registration Act, 1860” Governed by the “Indian Trust Act, 1882”
Aims and objectives are for the development/welfare of the whole society without restriction There are two kinds of trust. Public and Private. The latter is a private trust for the beneficiaries.
A minimum of 7 persons is required to form Society. Trust requires a minimum two persons
Executive committee runs it Managing trustee runs it.
Executive committee manages, subject to the approval of the general body Management is under the control of the management of Trustees and Managing Trustees.
Accounts shall be filed to the Registrar of Societies. No Such requirement
There is a provision to admit members. No Such requirement
In order to cancel an association action can be taken only after an inquiry under Sec.27 Author of Trust can cancel Trust if he so wishes. If the provision is made in the deed
Profit cannot be distributed among the members. It can be used only for the development of society. Trustees cannot share. Beneficiaries may be allowed to use the profit.