Society Registration under the Andhra Pradesh Societies Registration Act, 2001

The Andhra Pradesh Societies Registration Act, 2001

Prior to 2001, the law relating to registration of a society in Andhra Pradesh was governed by:

  • the Societies Registration Act, 1860, in the Andhra Area of the state, and,
  • the Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Public Societies Registration Act, 1350 Fasli, in the Telangana Area of the state.

In order to secure uniformity, it was proposed to have a single and comprehensive legislation to be applicable throughout the state. Accordingly, the Andhra Pradesh Societies Registration Act, 2001 (the Act) was enacted. The Act came into force on 10th December 2001, and extends to the whole of Andhra Pradesh.

The Act prescribes that for a society to be registered under the Act, it must:

  • have been formed by seven or more persons (but it cannot have a firm, whether registered or unregistered, as a member), and
  • have as its objective, the promotion of art, fine art, charity, crafts, religion, sports (excluding games of chance), literature, culture, science, political education, philosophy or diffusion of any knowledge or any public purpose.

Every society must have a Memorandum of Association and Bye-Laws. The Memorandum of Association must state the name, aims and objects of the society, and the names and description of the members of the committee elected by the society. The Bye-Laws must contain provisions relating to, among other things, the activities, membership, finances, appointment/election/removal of office bearers of the society, settlement of internal disputes, dissolution of the society etc.

Note 1: The Memorandum of Association must be signed by at least 7 members, who are majors, in the presence of 2 witnesses. The Bye-Laws must be signed by the signatories to the Memorandum of Association. Further, all signatories in the Memorandum of Association and the Bye-Laws, including the witnesses, must add their address, description and occupation in the document.

Note 2: Standard, printed templates of Memorandum of Association and Bye-Laws are generally available in shops close to the Registrar’s office where Registration of Societies are carried out. However, it is important to keep in mind that Memorandum and Bye-Laws are the fundamental documents relating to the composition and governance of the society. Therefore, care must be taken to ensure incorporation, in these documents, of provisions that suitably reflect the intention of the members of the society. While the Act empowers societies to amend their Memorandum of Association and Bye-Laws, incorporating suitable provisions in the first instance would save the society lot of procedural hassles in the future.  It is therefore advisable that members of a society may engage a competent person to draft the Memorandum of Association and Bye-laws, and deliberate on the provisions contained therein thoroughly before submitting them for registration.

Members of a society seeking registration under the Act, must file before the District Registrar in the district where the registered office of the society is to be situated, an application in the prescribed form, accompanied by Memorandum of Association, Bye-Laws, proof of address of the registered office of the society, proof of address and identity of the signatories to the Memorandum of Association, and the prescribed fees.

After due verification, the Registrar will issue a certificate of registration to the society, which shall be conclusive evidence of registration of the society. In cases where the Registrar refuses to register a society, the society may file an appeal before the Registrar General within 60 days from the date of communication of the order of the Registrar refusing to register the society.

Obligations of a Society under the Act:

A few key obligations imposed upon societies that are registered under the Act, are as follows:

  1. Every society must display its name outside its office premises in a conspicuous position, legible, in the language in general use in that place.
  2. Every society must give notice of any change in location of its registered office to the Registrar, within 28 days of such change.
  3. Every year, the society must furnish to the Registrar a list containing the names and addresses of the members of the Managing Committee and officers entrusted with the management of the affairs of the society, within 15 days from the date on which the General Body meeting is held.
  4. Every society must file with the Registrar, every amendment or alteration carried out in its Memorandum of Association, and its Bye-Laws.
  5. Every society must keep at its office, a copy of the Act, a copy of its registered Memorandum of Association and Bye-Laws, minutes book, up-to-date register of members, and such other documents as prescribed by the Act.
  6. Every society must deliver a copy of its Bye-Laws to each member at the time of admission, and must supply to every member a copy of balance sheet or statement of accounts together with the auditor’s report at its Annual General Body meeting.
  7. Every society must record the minutes of all proceedings of every General Body meeting and every committee meeting in a minutes book, and communicate the minutes of the meeting to all members invited for the meeting.
  8. Every society must keep at its registered office, a register of mortgages and charges in which details of all mortgages and charges affecting the property of the society must be recorded.

The above are a few key obligations, among the many that are imposed on a society registered under the Act. It is advisable that at the time of registration of the society, the members of the society seek guidance from the Registrar about the various obligations that the society needs to fulfill and take steps to ensure effective compliance with all such provisions under the Act.

Note: The above article is academic in nature, and is neither intended to be, nor should it be construed as a legal advice. Please see our disclaimer. You are always advised to consult an advocate and get clarified from him or her, the latest position in law, and obtain legal advice on what you may or may not do in your situation.

6 thoughts on “Society Registration under the Andhra Pradesh Societies Registration Act, 2001

  1. What is the procedure to amend Bye-laws?
    What should be the quorum for General body meeting as per the Act?
    K.Krishna Murty

  2. Sec.8 of the Act primarily contains the provisions for amendment of Memorandum and Bye-laws. The Advocate who has helped you incorporate the society would be in a better position to guide you on how to amend your Bye-laws, after considering your situation and conditions contained in the Memorandum and Bye-Laws of the Society.

  3. Is it legally allowed to change the name of a registered society? If so, what are the procedures? If not, what are the procedures to get any registration cancelled with the old name and file for a new one? Or, if shutting down the society is the solution to start a new one then what are the procedures? We want to keep our office address and members the same. Please Help ASAP.
    Sayan Ganguly

  4. Dear Sir
    We have recently registered an ngo in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. However, we are unable to attract anyone with the name and wish to change that. So, we require your kind guidance regarding:
    1. Procedures for changing the name;
    2. If that is not possible, procedures for getting the registration cancelled;
    3. If shutting down of the ngo is the solution, procedure for that and starting a new one with same members and same or different office.
    Thanks in Advance

    Sayan Ganguly

  5. Dear Sayan,

    The AP Societies Registration Act, 2001, contains provisions for change of name of a society. If your society is registered under the AP Societies Registration Act, 2001, you could refer to section 6 of the Act for the relevant provisions.

    A change in the name of the society could be brought about by passing a Special Resolution to that effect, with a previous intimation to the Registrar in writing. Special Resolution means a resolution passed by a majority of total members of the society, and, by not less than 3/5ths of members present and voting in a meeting which has been conveyed after following the prescribed procedure. Needless to mention, that the new name must comply with the provisions of the Act, and must not be undesirable, or identical to the name of another society registered in the District, or otherwise unqualified.

    You may contact a local advocate to discuss your situation, and help you with the formalities of getting the name of your society changed. Alternatively, you may also seek the assistance of the Registrar’s office to get clarity on the procedure to be adopted for the name change.

    All the best.

  6. Dear Sir
    We have registered in 1990 an ngo in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. we have 9 Governing Body/Gerneral Body Member and 3 General Body Member

    Out of 9 Governing/Gerneral Body Member, 7 is Term Expire on July 2015 (Enclude Office Bearer Trm expire in 7 Member)

    Present Status
    Governing Body / General Boyd Member only = 2
    Gerneal Body Member 3+2 = 5

    Plese solution who to call a meeting without Office Bearer and appoint a new member in General Body and Governing Body and after electe a office bearer.

    Thanks in Advance


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