In Pakistan, non-profit organizations (NPOs) are commonly referred to as non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These organizations are formed for a variety of purposes, such as promoting social welfare, education, healthcare, environmental conservation, and other charitable causes. If you are looking to register an NGO in Pakistan, here is a step-by-step guide:
Choose a Name for Your NGO
The first step in registering an NGO is to choose a name for your organization. The name should be unique and not similar to any existing NGO in Pakistan. Once you have chosen a name, you can check if it is available by conducting a name search at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) website.
Prepare a Memorandum and Articles of Association
A memorandum and articles of association (M&A) is a legal document that outlines the purpose, goals, and rules of your NGO. This document should include the name of your organization, its objectives, the names and addresses of the members of the board of directors, the procedures for appointing new members, the powers and duties of the board, and the rules for the dissolution of the NGO.
Get Your M&A Attested
Once you have prepared the M&A, you need to get it attested by a notary public. This is a person who is authorized to authenticate legal documents. You can find a notary public in your area by searching online or asking for referrals from your professional network.
Apply for Registration
To apply for registration, you need to submit the following documents to the Registrar of Societies in your province:
A copy of the M&A
A list of the members of the board of directors
A declaration of the assets and liabilities of the NGO
A statement of the estimated annual income and expenditure of the NGO
Pay the Registration Fee
Once you have submitted the required documents, you need to pay the registration fee. The fee varies depending on the province where you are registering your NGO. In Punjab, the fee is Rs. 1,000, in Sindh, it is Rs. 500, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it is Rs. 200, and in Balochistan, it is Rs. 100.
Wait for Approval
After you have submitted the required documents and paid the registration fee, you need to wait for the Registrar of Societies to approve your application. This process can take several weeks or months, depending on the workload of the Registrar’s office.
Get Your NGO Registered with the Tax Authorities
Once your NGO is registered, you need to get it registered with the tax authorities. This is necessary to comply with the tax laws of Pakistan. To register your NGO with the tax authorities, you need to apply for a National Tax Number (NTN) and a Sales Tax Registration Number (STRN).
To apply for an NTN and an STRN, you need to submit the following documents to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR):
A copy of the M&A
A copy of the registration certificate issued by the Registrar of Societies
A copy of the identity card of the chief executive officer of the NGO
A bank certificate verifying the bank account of the NGO
Open a Bank Account
After your NGO is registered with the tax authorities, you need to open a bank account in the name of your organization. This account will be used to receive donations and other funds for your NGO.
Start Your Operations
Once you have completed all the steps above, you can start your NGO’s operations. This may involve hiring staff, raising funds, and implementing programs to achieve your organization’s goals.
It is important to note that the process of registering an NGO in Pakistan can be time-consuming and complex. However, registering your NGO is essential to ensure that your organization is legally recognized and can operate effectively.
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when registering your NGO in Pakistan:
Choose the Right Legal Structure: In Pakistan, NGOs can be registered as societies, trusts, or non-profit companies. Each legal structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that is best suited for your organization’s goals and needs.
Seek Professional Help: If you are unsure about any aspect of the registration process, it’s a good idea to seek professional help. You can consult with a lawyer or an accountant who has experience in registering NGOs in Pakistan.
Comply with the Law: Once your NGO is registered, it’s important to comply with all the relevant laws and regulations in Pakistan. This includes filing annual tax returns and financial statements, as well as complying with any other legal requirements that may apply to your organization.
Build a Strong Network: To be successful, your NGO will need to build a strong network of supporters, partners, and stakeholders. This can include other NGOs, government agencies, private sector organizations, and community members. By building a strong network, you can increase your impact and achieve your organization’s goals more effectively.
In conclusion, registering an NGO in Pakistan can be a challenging process, but it’s essential to ensure that your organization is legally recognized and can operate effectively. By following the steps outlined above and seeking professional help when needed, you can successfully register your NGO and start making a positive impact in your community.