These are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding registration of society under Societies Registration Act, 1860, which our clients have been asking us.If you wish to register a society in Pakistan, please contact us at 0300-5075993, however please be aware that due to security concerns the government has temporarily suspended such registrations.To find out the latest status, please contact us.

Q1. For what purposes can societies be formed in Pakistan?

A. According to the Societies Registration Act, 1860 a 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, collections of natural history, mechanical and philosophical inventions, instruments or designs.

Q2. Who can form a society or charitable organization in Pakistan?
A. A society can be formed by “Any persons, in groups of seven or more, who are associated with 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.

Q3. How can a society be dissolved?
A. A society can be dissolved by its members, by the Registrar, by the Government or by Court.

Q4. Who is the signing authority of a registered society?
A. All the documents of a registered society which are filed with the Registrar should be signed by the President/Chairman, the Secretary or by any person specifically authorized in this behalf by the governing body.

Q4. What is the disqualification criteria a member of the society?

A. A person can disqualified for several reasons. 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.

Q5. 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.

Q7. 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 that the proposed name should not imply any connection with the Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan or any connection with any government office and should not be identical to the name of any other registered society and the name of the society should not suggest obscenity or be against decency and decorum.

Q8. Can a registered society make amendments to the rules & regulations and memorandum of a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860?

A. The registered society can make amendment in its rules & regulation as well as in the memorandum of the society by submitting an application which bears the signature of the General Secretary or President. The amendment/s shall be approved by the Registrar of Society as per the bye-laws.

Q. Can foreigners be appointed as Executive Committee members?

A. There is no bar according to law, however, foreign nationals are generally discouraged from being appointed as members of the executive committee under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

Q. What books of accounts must be maintained by a society?

A. Generally the books of accounts to be maintained by a society are cash books/bank books giving the daily receipts, voucher files ledgers and receipt books.

Q. Is NGO/NPO or any charitable organization registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860 in Pakistan classed as a tax-exempt entity? If not, how do they become tax exempt?

A. A charitable organization or society registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860 is not automatically exempt from income tax or any other taxes. To become exempt the organization must meet certain requirements and apply to the Commissioner of 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.

Josh and Mak International provide the services to register non-governmental and non-profit organizations in the field of Health Care and Medical fields, Education, Eye Health, Capacity Building, Humanitarian Development, Aid Centres, Advocacy and Awareness, Child Labour, Child Protection, Citizenship Education, Drinking Water, Drug Abuse, Free Hospital, Religious Education, Technical Education etc.

Josh and Mak International can advise on all aspects of registering an NGO / NPO and other related matters to individuals, firms and companies both local and foreign. You can contact Josh and Mak International today for  detailed legal consultancy and advice.

By The Josh and Mak Team

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