Society

Society Registration in West Bengal: Know All About It

calendar27 Dec, 2022
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Society Registration in West Bengal: Know All About It

In the legal sphere, a society refers to a group of individuals who work as a team to serve philanthropic objectives. Society registration is vital for securing legal status and complying with the norms of the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961[1]. Society registration is available state-wise and thus one can apply for the same by filing a prescribed application with the concerned Registrar. At least seven members and three executive committee members are required to legalize a society in West Bengal. Scroll down to check more about Society Registration in West Bengal.

Objectives to Be Fulfilled By the Registered Societies

As per the Society Registration Act, the registered societies in India can perform the following undertakings:

  • Incentivization of literature, arts, science, or religion
  • Serving philanthropic purposes such as building orphanages and providing aid to those who are not in the best of health and finances.
  • Providing social, economic, or political education
  • Mitigation of cruelty against animals
  • The establishment of public libraries
  • Artworks and painting collection
  • Preserving paintings, natural history specimens, invaluable antiquities, scientific instruments, and designs.
  • Any other object introduced by the State Government is supposed to benefit society or the public at large.

Norms regarding Society’s name

As per the West Bengal Society Registration Act, the proposed name should not be in use, and nor it should hinder the interest of any third party in the religious or legal sense. The said act states the following that should not be a part of a proposed name:

  • Union, State, Gandhi, Reserve Bank, Mortgage
  • Any word affirming sanction approval
  • Patronage of State or central government
  • Government names and emblems
  • Names that are legally prohibitive
  • Names that are unregistrable

The two independent societies that have identical names cannot legally sustain for long. The concerned authority shall sooner or later prompt the societies for a name change and alter their MOA within the stipulated timeline.

Note:  The name change legalities have nothing to do with the rights and liabilities of the society. Even after the name change, society’s constituency structure shall remain unchanged.

An Overview of the Bye-Laws of Society

The Registrar shall not grant approval to the MoA if it lacks a copy of the regulation as an annexure. The regulation must reflect the given details:

  • The Governing Body’s composition
  • The method of electing or removing the members of the Governing body, the Secretary, the president, and other officers
  • The admission to membership and members’ removal
  • The maintenance of mandatory paperwork and registers and their inspection arrangement
  • The custody of the society’s property, including the method of sparing or investing society’s funds.
  • The procedure for the convening of the meeting, quorum, notification, and voting (be it in person or via other modes)
  • The maintenance and account audit
  • The account vetting of the proceeding of meetings
  • Any other matter concerning the objects of the association.

Society Registration in West Bengal and Charter Documents

Any seven or more person with a common philanthropic goal may subscribe their name to MoA and file it alongside a copy of society’s bye-laws with the concerned RoC.  Upon registering a society, the RoC will grant the certificate along with the Memorandum of Association. The latter should reflect the following information:

  • Association’s name
  • The address of the registered office used for society’s affairs.
  • The object on which the association was established
  • The first member’s name of the governing body
  • The name, designations, addresses, and role of the authorized signatories.

Note: The memorandum shall become unalterable after the society gets registered.

Documents concerning Society Registration in West Bengal

Those who seek society registration in West Bengal must arrange the following documents

  • Prescribed application form
  • Proceedings concerning the first meeting
  • Self-attested copies relating to by-laws
  • Self-attested copies concerning ID proofs and addresses of the office bearers
  • Passport-size photos relating to the executive committee members
  • Executive committee member’s ID as well as address proof
  • Executive Committee member’s ID as well as address proof.
  • Lease agreement copy if the property is rented or else property ownership paper

Procedure to secure Society registration in West Bengal

Following is the step by step procedure for Society Registration in West Bengal:

Step 1: Applicant must share MoA attested with the copy of regulations (aka by-laws of society) and other documents with the respective Registrar of Firm.

Step 2: Upon furnishing the application and required fee, the registrar shall grant the acknowledgment slip that will help with application tracking.

Step 3: Registrar shall vet the application and documents for any errors.

Step 4: Upon successful vetting, the RoF will approve the request for the society registration and accordingly grant the registered copy of regulations and MOA. Post this, the RoF shall add the name of the society to the Register of society.

Casting light on different forms for registered societies

  • Registered societies are entitled to alter any provision cited in the charter documents. The approval regarding such changes has to be secured from the respective registrar via the prescribed form.
  • Form V is used to avail of approval for provision amendments in the MoA. Some common details to be enclosed in the form include the Society name and registration number, prevailing provisions, proposed provisions, etc.
  • Form VI is used to file the annual or other returns with the respective RoF.  The said form requires the applicant to enclose mandatory details such as Registration number, Date of AFM, Date of erstwhile AGM, Number of attendees in the AGM, auditor’s information, etc.
  • Form III is used when any registered society wants approval from RoF to apply for the inspection/extract of the document. Some mandatory particulars to be added by the applicant in this form include the registration number, nature of documents vetting, name and address of the society, etc.

Conclusion

Society Registration in West Bengal serves as a mandatory legal permit for all emerging societies. For seamless registration, make sure to draft the charter document under the supervision of the subject matter expert. Also, pay close attention while devising the by-laws of the society as any error can lead to a legal dispute with a third party or the governing authority. 

Read Our Article: Online Procedure Of Society Registration Renewal

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