Charitable Society Registration in Pakistan
FAQs: Registration of a non-profit (NPO / NGO) under Companies Ordinance, 1984
Laws related to NGO’s/NPO’s in Pakistan
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding registration of society under Society Registration Act, 1860:
Q. What is the purpose for which a society can be formed in Pakistan?
A. According to Societies Registration Act, 1860 the society may be registered for the grant of charitable assistance, for the promotion of science, literature, the fine arts, for instruction, the diffusion of useful knowledge, diffusion of political education the foundation or maintenance of libraries or reading rooms, public museums and galleries of paintings and other works of art, collection of natural history, mechanical and philosophical inventions, instruments or designs.
Q. Who all can form a society or charitable organization in Pakistan?
A. A society can be formed by “Any seven or more persons associated for any literary, scientific or charitable purpose, or for any such purpose as described in section 20 of this Act, may, by subscribing their names to a memorandum of association, and filing the same with registrar of Joint Stock Companies form themselves into a society under this Act.
Q. How can a society be dissolved?
A. Society can be dissolved by its members, by the Registrar, by the Government or by Court.
Q. Who is the signing authority of a registered society?
A. All the documents of a registered society to be filed with the Registrar should be signed by the President/Chairman or the Secretary or by any person specifically authorized in this behalf by the governing body.
Q. What is the disqualification for being a member of the society?
A. A person is disqualified for being chosen as or being a member of the society, If a person is an undercharged insolvent, is convicted of any offence in connection with the formation, promotion, management or conduct of the affairs of a society or a body corporate, or of any offence involving moral turpitude.
Q. What is the quorum required for a meeting of a society?
A. Quorum’ implies the minimum number of members who must be present in the meeting to make the proceedings of the meeting valid. The bye-laws of the organization specify the quorum required for different meetings. If the required quorum is not present then the meeting is generally adjourned as provided in the bye laws of the society.
Q. What are the things to be kept in mind while proposing a name of the society?
A. While proposing a name for the society things to be kept in mind are the proposed name should not imply any connection with Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan or any connection with any government office and should not be identical to name of any other registered society and name of the society should not suggest obscenity or be against decency and decorum.
Q. Can a registered society make amendments in rules & regulations and memorandum of the society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860?
A. The registered society can make amendment in its rules & regulation as well as in memorandum of the society by submitting an application with the signature of the General Secretary or President. The amendment shall be approved by the Registrar of Society as per the bye-laws.
Q. Whether foreigners can be appointed as Executive Committee members?
A. There is no bar according to law, however, foreign nationals are generally discouraged from being appointed as member of executive committee under Societies Registration Act, 1860.
Q. What are the books of accounts to maintain by a society?
A. Generally the books of accounts to be maintained by the society are cash books/bank books giving the daily receipts, voucher files ledgers and receipt books.
Q. Is NGO/NPO or charitable organization registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860 in Pakistan a tax-exempt entity? If not, how do I become tax exempt?
A. A charitable organization or society registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860 is not automatically exempt from income tax or other taxes. To become exempt the organization must meet certain requirements and apply to Commissioner Income Tax for exemption. Although tax exemption is considered an automatic benefit of registration by many NGOs, it must be noted that the only type of tax exemption for NGOs/NPOs is the exemption granted by the Federal Board of Revenue on a case by case basis. This is not part of the registration process and must be applied for separately.