Want to make a difference in the community? Are you planning to register NGO? But wait, are you clear with your organizational vision? Maybe you are but you might be unaware that more than 70,000 non-profit organizations/charities exist in Nepal and only 20% of the organizations are functioning effectively and the rest of them are only on paper. The reasons being lack of funding, dedication, motivation, support etc. So, be very sure if you really want to register a new NGO. You might consider partnering with existing NGOs to work on the projects you have in your mind. You do not just want to go through all the hassles and end up on papers in a few years. If you have a real passion and dedication to give back to the community, then no doubt your organization will be different from the rest.
Registering NGO in Nepal
Most of the people complain about the confusion and complications with the procedure of registering an NGO in Nepal. Here we try to make your task easy with our step by step guidelines.
NGO in Nepal is registered under the District Administration Office (DAO) present in 77 districts. You also need PAN Number from Inland Revenue Department and list your NGO under Social Welfare Council (SWC). SWC is a government body established to coordinate and facilitate NGOs and INGOs in Nepal, in order to obtain the tax exemption and other specified facilities accorded by the Government. Registering under Social Welfare Council is also important to able to receive a donation, whether it is from the government, bilateral/multilateral or individual donor.
The registration must be renewed every fiscal year (Ashad-Shrawan).
Let’s Start the Registration Process
Step 1: Forming a Team and Documents You Need
- Form a Board of members with at least 7 people holding Nepali citizenship: 1 President, 1 Vice- President, 1 Secretary, 1 Treasurer, 3+ Members.
- Collect copies of citizenship, passport photos and character report from Nepal Police of all members from respective districts of origin.
- Set up a formal documentation of your organizational goals and mission, and form a bylaw (Bidhan): Memorandum of Association as well as Article of Association of your organization, with the help of your team or, hire a lawyer.
- Prepare the Minutes (in a register note) of the 1st meeting of the members of the NGO, stating the decision to open an NGO and why. Specify the names of board members and their role, mission, objective and source of funding. Every page needs to be signed by Board members. Also, include at least 3 signatures of witnesses.
- Draft rent agreement. Even if you are planning to start your NGO from your home, you will need this to validate the location of your NGO. Also, do not forget to include a copy of citizenship of the house owner. If the house is under your name, you will need a copy of Land Ownership Certificate (lalpurja) too.
- Do not forget to prepare rubber stamps with your organization’s name and logo- Yes, before registering. You will need it on every application you fill in from now on.
- Consider the budget aspect. The total cost to register an NGO will come around 10,000 (not including the lawyer’s consultancy fee).
Tip: File at least 5 copies of each document- you do not to run around finding a photocopy machine.
Step 2: Ward Office
You will need “Recommendation Letter” from ward office. The ward office varies with the location and address of your organization. You need to submit an application for the recommendation letter with copies of the above-mentioned documents. The application should be signed by the president and stamped. If you have already designed a letter pad for your organization you can use it, if not plain A4 size paper is acceptable.
Step 3: District Coordination Committee Office (Jilla Samanwaya Samiti)
After you receive a recommendation letter from ward office, you need to submit an application to the District Coordination Committee for “Certificate of Registration”. An application form is provided by District Cooperate Committee. Attach the required document.
Step 4: District Administration Office
Here is where you will receive the registration number for your NGO. You will need to fill in five copies of application forms provided by District Administration office. Please also keep the soft copy of your Bidhan handy because sometimes they ask us for a soft copy for their records.
Step 5: Social Welfare Council (Samajh Kalyan Parishad)
Visit the Social Welfare Council (SWC) to get the Affiliation Certificate. You need to fill in application form provided by SWC and submit it with copies of recommendation letter from ward office, certificate of registration from District Coordination Committee and District Administration Office with other mentioned documents.
Step 6: Inland Revenue Department
All NGO must have Permanent Account number (PAN) card that is the ten-digit alphanumeric number under the Income Tax Act 2058 And Regulation 2059. This is a must to open a bank account under your NGO’s name to work out the finances. Before you visit the office, make sure you have a copy of minute, where it is clearly mentioned who among the Board of members will sign the application form.
You need to submit an application for Permanent Account number (PAN) provided by Inland revenue department with copies of the above mentioned minute, Registration Certificate, citizenship and two identical passport size photos of the person who signs the application form, sketched map of the location of your main office or head office.
An inland revenue official vets your application with regard to correctness and completeness. If found correct and complete, you will receive a “Temporary Account Number Registration Certificate”. It is valid for 3 months. You will receive the “Permanent Account Number (PAN) Registration Certificate” and your “PAN Card” within 3 months.
Note: You need to pay 10% tax of Rent mentioned in Rent Agreement
Finally, the process is completed, but before you get yourself busy working on the projects, do these steps, for future reference.
- Make copies of all the certificates you have received and file the originals somewhere safe.
- Call your first official board meeting and lay out a timetable of action for getting your new project running. Do not forget to minute the decision you have made and get it signed by all members.
- Let people know that you exist and what you plan to do- Build a website and open social media account.
Now, get your new project running.
ALL THE BEST!
[Note: The article was written in August 2018 (Bhadra 2075), the registration process might change according to law.]