Starting an NGO:
Register the NGO

Cover page:
Starting an NGO

  • The NGO's name: Check to see if the proposed name of the organization is already in use. Check with the local government registry or similar agency/board to see if your proposed name is already taken. It may be necessary to provide two or three optional names for the NGO/NPO! This also applies to the logo of the NGO, if you plan to use one.
  • Registering or incorporating within your local government. It will be necessary to incorporate the organization within its given local government/agency by writing and filing the necessary forms. In most countries, there are specialized departments or officers within local governments that deal with registering an NGO (which may also be called by other different names: non-profit organization, voluntary organization, people's organization, etc.)
  • There are several documents that need to be submitted, and these differ from country to country. Information on the NGO/NPO Board, its mission statement, programmes and projects info, staff members, funding sources, etc. will be necessary.

    A typical set of documents to be submitted to the appropriate authority for registering an NGO includes - Memorandum of Association or Bye-laws, including applicable rules and regulations; report of annual activities, financial reports/audit reports; sources and pattern of income and expenditure; minutes of the Executive Board or General Assembly that endorses the setting up of the NGO; letters of support (references) etc.

  • Laws and Regulations: Different countries have different systems in place, butt a number of laws and regulations affect the functioning of an NGO. These may be local/provincial regulations, or national laws. It may relate to:
    • tax (or tax-exemption) laws
    • finance and banking aspects (including overseas money transfer and foreign exchange)
    • Laws related to organizational aspects
    • Labour laws
    Study these and other relevant laws in detail to understand their implications to the NGO/NPO. Talk to a businessman - many of the laws related to a business may also be relevant to an NGO/NPO.

Get more detailed information on this topic
from other sections of the NGO Cafe
  • Registering an NGO: A Quick Guide

  • Return to the NGO Page

    Comments and suggestions:
    Hari Srinivas -