By-Laws of Society Registration: A Comprehensive Guide

calendar04 May, 2020
timeReading Time: 8 Minutes
Laws of Society Registration

The terms of “society” was initiated to fulfill the requirement of an institution of non-commercial prospect for promotion of numerous charitable activities such as education, art, religion, culture, music and sport, development, relief mechanisms, etc. Therefore, the Associations, clubs, or societies get created to provide help and upheld these causes since they work on a non-profit basis under Bylaws.

In consonance to the need for a legal entity, it is to enable them to own, possess, and achieve the funds of the society. However, it gets created to secure the assets for the gain of charitable or promotional objects. It can be laid down by donors, which is the result of these endeavors. 

In the present time, a society has diversely defined. It can describe as a company or association of persons (usually unincorporated) organized by mutual consent to consider, determine, and act together for a common purpose.

What is the Purpose for Which Society Can Form under the By-Laws?

A society can be formed for the advancement of literaturescience, or the fine arts or the flow of useful knowledge/political schooling or charitable purposes. Moreover, Section 20 of the Society Registration Act[1] specifies the following purposes for which societies may get registered under the Act. 

The following are the purposes:-

Purpose of  Society Registration

Is the Formation of Society Prohibited for Profit Motive?

  • Yes, the formation of society indeed prohibited under Societies Registration Act, 1860, for any profit orients. In any case, or any societal creation, profit motive for ‘personal use’ is strictly disentitled
  • Registration of Society under section 8 of Companies Act prohibit payment of any extra profits to its members, as part of the benefit received by any means.

What do you mean by Memorandum of Association under the by-laws of society Registration?

  • The Memorandum of Association (MOA) is a legal document depicting and reciting the objective of its existence and operation of the society. It defines the all acceptable range of the social enterprise. There adequate care must be taken while drafting this document. Methodically, it confers all the powers on the society, which will rationally require for total attainment of the objects.
  • Format of Memorandum of Association: –  The Memorandum of Association as per the Society Registration Act as well as the Acts passed by various State Governments should contain the following aspect:- 
Memorandum of Association as per the Society Registration Act

What are the Guidelines for Drafting a Memorandum of Association specified in the Society Registration By-laws?

Guidelines for Naming a Society

  • The naming of a Society is essential and has to get done with an extreme level of observation and consultancy. Therefore, the Registrar of Society (ROS) may come within your reach concerning alternative names to ascertain if, by chance, the same is not unwelcome/undesired and not used by other existing societies.
  • Moreover, it should not fix the name of the society for any obscenity, and need-fully maintain the decency and dignity of it.
  • The name of the society should not aim to promote disharmony or feelings of hatred or ill-will between different religions, racial or regions of any location.
  • It should not hurt and oblige the integrity of all groups or casts or communities,
  • It should not be matching or nearly resemble with any other name of existing registered society from anywhere.
  • It should add the suffix ‘Trust” at the end of the word ‘trust.’
  • Taking into consideration of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of improper use) Act, 1950, the name should be as such that it does not attract the provisions of it.
  • It should not be calculated to defend the patronage of the Government of India. Also, it should not suggest anything in connection with the local authority or any corporation/body constituted by the government under any prevailing law.
  • The terms like ‘cooperative,’ ‘land development,’ ‘reserve bank,’ ‘union,’ ‘state,’ or any other similar words are expressing or suggesting the sanction should not get used without the previous authority. It also should not adhere to any approval or support of the central as well as state government. Terms such as ‘Municipal’ or ‘Chartered’ or any word which suggests with any municipality or other legal expert witness may not get used without the previous sanction in clear written Proof of such authority.
  • While adjudicating upon the selection of a name for the proposed society, the above provisions should guide the ‘subscriber’ of the Memorandum of Association (MOA). With this, the Registrar has the power to reject the application for registration if the name is inconsistent with these said guidelines.

Guidelines for Registered Office and Its Objectives

  • It is evident from the Society Registration Act that it is required to mention the ‘address of the registered office’ in the Memorandum of Association of the proposed Society. Therefore, it is essential to specify the address, so that communication on announcements or notices may get sent to the society at such address.
  • All the activities of the society, once formed, have to act within the framework of the mentioned object clause. If it gets noticed, any action of the society outside the outline of the proposed object clause may be declared ‘null and void.’ 

Guidelines on Names & Address of Governors, Councils, and Directors of Committee

  • The Society Registration Act and the State Act necessitate that the Memorandum of Association should contain the all names, addresses and occupation of the Governors, Councils, and Directors of Committee.
  • In such cases, the member called as a governor or director or president; it does not distress his status in the proposed society. Besides, these office-bearers have diverse existence from individual members of the society. Even the administration and management of the proposed society is also interested in them together.

Guidelines on the Signatures and Rules & Regulations 

  • The rules and regulations of the proposed society should be signed by at least three prominent members of the governing body. Moreover, the provisions of the society are determined to limit and guide members of the governing body of the society. 
  • It also conducts persons interested in the internal management of the society to regulate the objects & purposes and functions of the society. These rules shall be binding on the members of the proposed society. The inconsistent rules and regulations with the provisions of the Act will be out of action whenever detected. 

Guidelines on Effects of Registration and Non-Registration of Society

The Principle Act lays down the way for registration of societies for various Valid & Bona-fide purposes. The registration stretches the society to get a legal status and is essential:-

The essentials opportunities are as follows:-

opportunities of Society Registration
  • After the society gets registered, it and its members become guaranteed and bound to the same extent. Their obligations will be as if each ‘member had signed’ the Memorandum of Association. Moreover, tax imposed on a society will consider to be ‘imposed on the society,’ but not on its members individually.
  • It also attracts the fact that any society registered under the Act enjoys the ‘standing status of a legal entity’ apart from the members establishing it. By this means, society can also acquire and hold property in its name. The provision of the Principle Act also signifies that the proposed society can sue and can be sued. 
  • In cases where registration is absent, all the trustees of the society – in charge of the fund have alone a legal status. In these cases, the society will get no legal status; therefore, it cannot sue and get sued by any means. It gets immaterial whether the society is in existence or not, a non-registered society may exist, but it cannot entitle benefits under the Income-tax Act.

Guidelines on the Accounts, Audit and Enforcement of Judgement 

  • After the completion of due procedures of Society Registration, it enables them to possess the assets and funds/properties, delivered to them by the members or by other persons. It can get contributed utilizing donations, gifts, etc. The Trustees are the members of the governing body who apply the funds of the society. Moreover, the funds/properties should get concerned for the attainment of objects for which the society has registered. 
  • Correspondingly, it is indispensable to maintain regular account books and get them audited once in a year by a qualified Chartered Accountant (auditor). It needs to get present members at the general meeting as well as file them with the Registrar of Society for its scrutiny. After the fulfillment of allocations, the auditor should submit the report transmission to the exact date of the financial dealings of the society. 
  • In cases of litigations and suits, any judgment or decree passed against any person or officer bearer of the society, who characterizes the society during the legal proceeding, cannot be enforced against the individual property. In such a way, the property of the society will only get responsible for paying for the decree passed against a proposed society. It is the extensive protection that has given to the officers of the society under the Society Registration Act. 

Read our article: Society Registration for School: Know Everything about Educational Societies in India

What are the Contents required to get reflected upon By-Laws of Society?

Name of the Society Objects of the Society
Registered Office Functions of the Society
Date of Adoption   Meetings of Governing Councils  
Short Titles and Commencement Delegation of the powers of the Governing Council  
Definitions Clauses Powers of Central Governments
Registered Office Details of Director  
Members of the Society   Research Application and Monitoring Advisory Committee  
Governing Councils   Functions  
List of Governing Councils   Compositions  
Cessation or termination of membership   Quorum  
Casual Vacancy in the Governing Council   Finance Committee  
Register of Members   Function  
Meetings of the Society Compositions  
  Scope and Functions of the Governing Body   Quorum
Powers of Governing Councils   Travel by Members  
Funds of the Society   Provisions for Dissolutions and adjustments of Affairs  
Financial Year and Audited Account   Authority of Legal Actions  
Power to amend rules   Change in the registered office Address  
Alterations, Amendments and Change in the Objects and Name of the Society   Amendment of the Rules  
Taking Over by Central Government    

What about the Sample of Bye-Laws of Society Registrations?

Bye Law/ Constitution/ Rules & Regulation

  • Membership:-

The membership shall consist of: 

  1. The Person should be above 18 years of age. 
  2. The Person shall get acknowledged in agreement with these rules and regulations. 
  3. Every member on its admittance shall pay _______as admission fee which shall not/reimbursed in any case and _____monthly fee. 
  • Membership Register:-

The society shall preserve its registered office a register of its members and will enter therein within _______ days after admission of the member. It can get subjected to the cessation of membership as they may be with the following particulars.  

  1. The name and the address of the members/ members.  
  2. The date of which the member got admitted. 
  3. The date on which a member ceased to such membership. 
  • Cessation of Membership

 A person ceases to the member: 

  1. On the death or 
  2. On written resignation
  3. The Person did not appear 03 consecutive meetings of the “general body of the society’ without indication. 
  4. Has been unsuccessful to pay a subscription of ____ for continuously 06 months. 
  5. Have been found of immorality, theft, mischief, gambling, or convicted in any criminal cases by the government.
  • Right And Privilege Of The Members
  1. Every member will have the same right to vote at the annual ‘general body meeting.’ 
  2. Every member will have a right to enjoy and contribute to the events of the society.
  • General Body

The General body shall contain all members of the society.

  1. To deliberate any business brought frontward by the governing body. 
  2. To deliberate, any of the business brought frontward, which shall be determined to be definite or turned down by simple majority after election/voting. 
  3. A simple majority will decide all other queries before the ‘general body.’ 
  4. Voting should be the means to elect President, Vice President, Joint Secretary, General Secretary and Treasurer
  • Notice Of The Meeting
  1. The meeting of the ‘general body’ shall be held once a year in the ‘first week’ of ____ that particular year. A notice for assembling such ‘general body meeting’ shall be delivered to all the members by post or email before ‘10 days’.
  2. ‘Special General Body’ meeting may be assembled with a clear notice before ___ days. 
  3. The quorum in the ‘general meeting’ will be one third (1/3) of the total member in case the quorum not completed; the meeting shall get adjourned. The meeting should get reconvened after 30 minutes. The condition of the quorum would deem to have fulfilled. Etc.
Note: This is not the exhaustive Sample of By-laws. Kindly Consult with our Experts to get help concerning to Society Registration and Drafting as well.


In these busy schedules, due to time constraints, mostly, we do not have time to appear the society meetings. Notably, in those meetings, very petty issues are on the list. The rules get typically framed under the Societies Registration Act, which is a Central Act. It provides specific states for a society to be registered and also offers a degree of flexibility to societies to add guidelines of their own. This article was for general information and shall not get treated as dedicated authority in any manner. Moreover, adequate attention has specified to avoid any clerical/arithmetical mistake. Together with this, we at Corpbiz have legal Experts to help you with the process of registering society, ensuring the successful and timely accomplishment of your work.

Read our article:Society Registration in India: Know the Entire Procedure and List of Documents Required

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