NGO

How to change the name of the NGO?

calendar25 Jul, 2020
timeReading Time: 5 Minutes
Change the name of the NGO

Non-Government Organisations (NGO) is not for profit entity comprising of a group of people engaged in promoting the welfare and charitable activities like religion, culture, art, education, gender sensitivity, music, sports, etc. They have a stated charitable or benevolent purpose, which operates as nearly as possible at cost. In India Societies Registration Act 1860 governs the societies, laws applicable to them, and name change procedures. Different State governments have adopted the same act through various amendments as per their needs.

At the time of NGO registration, all the board members agree in writing on a specific name for the NGO. Gradually with time, one may realize that the name of the Society no longer reflects the soul or essence of the NGO. This may require name change to introduce a new one in sync with the Society’s motto. The Society Registration Act[1] does have provisions for changing the name of the NGO with relatively no or very nominal cost.

Procedure to change the name of the NGO

The procedure to change the name of the NGO is the same as the one used to change the Society’s rules. The Societies Registration Act does not provide any specific procedure to change the name of the NGO, but under various sections 12, 12 A, 12 B, give a procedure to change the name of the NGO. The following stepwise description is as below:

Step- 1

Summon a general body meeting of the board members to discuss the change of the name. However, the name should not refer to any caste or religious denomination and should not be inconsistent with the objects of the NGO. The Registrar may refuse to make changes in the name of the NGO if the new name anyhow suggests or misleads the public into believing patronage from Government of India, or connection with any department or organization or body constituted by the Government or any other similar authority. It must not be identical to the name of some other society in the jurisdiction of the concerned Registrar of Society. 

Step- 2

A resolution declaring the new name should be passed in the General Body meeting of the Society by a majority. This change of name should not affect any obligations or rights of the society/its members/ past members/ deceased members and any legal proceedings pending before any person, authority or court may be continued by or against the Society, under its new name.

Step- 3

An amendment should make every change in the name of an NGO of its bye-laws. This has to be notified in an official gazette. There should be one more General Body meeting of the Board of Society to pass the revolution for approval for the previous resolution of changing the name of the NGO.

Step- 4

A notice has to be issued about the change in name wherein the new name is declared. It has to be signed by the secretary of the Society along with its 7 members (as in case of the registration of the memorandum of association. This is then submitted to the Registrar.

Step- 5

After getting approval from the Registrar, the NGO has to send the original registration certificate to the Registrar to amend that, and then it shall be returned to the Society. The Registrar will then enter the new name in place of the older name in the register of societies and shall also amend the certificate of registration accordingly. The change in the name of the NGO is in effect from the date of the registration. 

Important requirements for change in the name of the NGO

requirements for change in the name of the NGO

Board Meeting

Call the general body meeting of the board members to discuss the resolution of change of the name of the NGO. The name must not indicate to any caste or religion and should not be contrary to the Society’s objects. The Registrar has all power to refuse to change the name of NGO if the new name depicts that the Society is any way connected with the Government of India or relationship with any department/organization/body formed by the Government or any other similar authority.

Read our article: All you need to Know before Starting an NGO in India

General meeting

Conduct one more General Body meeting of the Board of Society to pass a resolution for approval for the previous resolution of change the name of the NGO as selected by the members. The resolution of change of name must be passed by the majority.

Process

The changes in the name of NGO will not affect any of the obligations or rights of its members/past members/deceased members and any legal proceedings if pending before any person, authority, or court may be continued by or against the Society under its changed name. An amending its bye-laws should make the change in the name of a Society. This must be notified in an official gazette also.

Overall Documentation

A notice will be issued about the change in name wherein the new name is declared. The secretary signs this resolution along with all the members of the NGO; this is then submitted to the Registrar. These documents are to be submitted to Registrar in case of alteration of name:

  • KYC of all the members and 2 witnesses
  • Copy of resolution passed
  • Covering letter
  • List of the members
  • An amended copy of bye-laws of the Society for the approval of Registrar

Scrutinizing the documents

Registrar, after scrutinizing all the documents, will approve the name of the NGO. Once approval is received, send an original registration certificate to the Registrar for the amendment in that certificate also. After approval, the Registrar will then enter the new name of the NGO in the register of societies. The change in the name of the NGO is effective from the date of the registration of a new name. The process can be some differences in different states and different registrars.

Documents required for the supplementary deed

A supplementary deed of an NGO will be submitted with the changed objectives of the NGO.  The following documents should be attached to the supplementary deed.

  • No Objection Certificate from a landlord in case of changed registered office of the NGO
  • Amended copy of the Memorandum of Association of the NGO
  • Copies of resignation letter of those members who have been removed from the Trust
  • Copies of application form for the new members
  • Ownership proof of the new registered office from the landlord if you are changing the address
  • Copies of minute book of the NGO
  • Copies of Annual Report of the NGO
  • List of Governing body and Copies of comparative list of amendment

Procedure for change of address of NGO

Step 1: Call a general body meeting of the board members to discuss the resolution of change of the registered office of the NGO. These documents to be submitted while changing the address:

  • KYC of all the members and 2 witnesses
  • Copy of resolution passed
  • Covering letter
  • List of the members
  • An amended copy of bye-laws of the Society for the approval of Registrar
  • Latest electricity bill of the new registered office, rent agreement (if a property is rented), and NOC of the owner of the premises.

Step 2: On receipt of the Society’s documents regarding the alteration of the address after checking all the documents, the Registrar shall register the address communicated by the NGO in a register of the societies.

Step 3: Any change shall not be considered as registered unless:-

  • The bye-laws are not amended or
  • The Registrar registers the change.

Step4: The registered office address of an NGO or any changes in the same shall be displayed on the notice board immediately after the Registrar’s approval. After approval, all address is to be amended in all the documents of the NGO also.

The NGO’s controlling body shall give information related to the change in the address of the registered office within 21 days from the change of the address to the Registrar who shall record the same in the register of societies.

Conclusion

Therefore, if the governing body of an NGO does not comply with these requirements, every member of the governing body shall unless the Registrar for reasons to be recorded in writing the acceptance of delay is liable to a fine not exceeding five rupees for every day during which the non-compliance continues. If you are looking to form an NGO and want to have Society registration, feel free to reach us at Corpbiz for any kind of assistance.

Read our article:A guide on Legal Compliance for NGOs in India

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