Society Registration

A society is a group of people who join hands to work for a common cause.

Its main aim is to serve the society and not to earn profit.

To work as a legal entity a society has to be registered under The Society Act, 1860. A society has elected individuals who represent the members of the society.

They are also responsible for activities of the society.


A society must have at least 10 members to get it registered. A society can be registered or unregistered.

But, only a registered society will be able to enjoy the benefits like:

  • Power to sue someone
  • Can buy property on its name, etc.

Besides individuals (citizens of India), foreigners, partnership firm and limited company are eligible to form a society by subscribing to memorandum of society.


State government is responsible for the registration of a society.

State government appoints a district registrar in every district who has the power to register the societies.

Procedure for Society Registration

Following steps are taken for registration of a society under Society Registration Act-

Selection of name

The first step involves selecting a name for the society. While selecting a name one must be cautious of the names of existing societies.

The Society Registration Act prohibits using the similar name which is already in existence. The selected name must not suggest any connection with legal authority or government of India.

After careful judgement regarding the name of the society, one can get it approved by the district registrar.

Memorandum of Association

MOA is doctrine of external management. It is the charter of the society. MOA defines the objective of the society and its relationship with other members. MOA need to be signed by the promoters of the company. It must also contain the official stamps, address,

occupation and designation of witnesses and promoters.

The following individuals are present as the witness –

  1. Notary Public
  2. Chartered Accountant
  3. Gazette Officer
  4. Advocate
  5. Oath Commissioner
MOA must contain the following information –
  1. Rules and Regulations of the society
  2. Address of promoters and witnesses
  3. Name , address and occupation of all the members of the society
  4. Relationship of the members with other parties

Documents required for society Registration:-

1.) Declaration

The president of the society has to provide a declaration that he is suitable for the post of president.

2.) Proof Of Address

A society must provide a copy of proof of address of the registered office.

Article Of Association

It is doctrine of internal management. It defines the rules and regulations regarding the internal management.

Memorandum Of Association

A society has to prepare its MOA which specify the objective of the society. It contains address, occupation and name of all the members and promoters.

It must have address of the registered office of the society.


Every member of the society has to submit their PAN card number to the registrar.

Rules and Regulations

A society has to submit a document containing rules and regulations.

The content of the document includes:

  • Rules and regulations for governing the activities of the society.
  • It contains information regarding auditors and membership criteria.
  • Rules regarding meetings of the society

List of all the members –

This document contains the names of all the members of the society with their signatures.

Residence Proof

Members of a society have to provide their residence proof.

It can be in the form of –

Driving License

Bank Statement


Aadhaar Card

The above mentioned documents have to be submitted to the registrar of society.

Two copies of application are submitted along with essential fees.

The district registrar of the society signs the first copy and returns it while keeping the second copy for approval.

After proper scrutinization, the registrar issues an incorporation certificate.

It also allocates a registration number to a society giving it a legal identity.

After submitting all the aforesaid documents and proper examination by the registrar, then the registrar declares a society as registered.

Importance of Society Registration

Separate Legal Entity

After getting registered a society is deemed as separated legal entity having identity separate from its members.

It has the right to sue someone, buy property on its name and liable to be sued.

Limited liability

Members are not personally liable for any debt except when they are involved in illegal activities.

Tax Exemption

Societies which are registered enjoy tax exemptions benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can a society works for profit motive?

No, a society is a group of individuals who work for a common cause. The societies are formed to uplift the unprivileged sections of the society.

What if a society selects a name which is already in existence?

A society is prohibited from selecting a name which already exists. Even if it does so, then the registrar will not approve the name for registration.

Is there any specific limit to form a society?

1.) A society can be created by at least 10 members or more who have attained the age of majority {18 years}.
2.) A society can keep a limit on the maximum number of members after its registration.
3.) A society can also be formed by two founders, where one of them is a registered society.

How does a society work ?

A society works on the principle of mutual help . The members of a society work for a common goal. Members come together to support each other and pool their resources and use them in efficient manner.

What are the laws that regulate cooperative societies in India?

1.) State Cooperative Society Act Of Individual State
2.) Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act,2002