Introduction:

In Bangladesh, many local and international NGOs are working day and night with its noble objectives in various sectors. Very often many foreign and national charitable organization wants to know the registration process of NGO or charitable organization. This article talks about the registration procedures of various kinds of NGOs i.e. charitable organization in Bangladesh.

Types of NGO:

  1. International NGO
  2. National NGO

Registration of NGO:

  1. International NGO:
  • NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB):

An international organization, which is registered outside of Bangladesh needs to be registered with NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB) before it can be operated in Bangladesh. Furthermore, to receive donations from foreign organizations or institutions, registration under NGOAB is mandatory for an International NGO or charity.

  • Concerned Laws:

Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulations Act, 2016 (FDRA)

 Process of Registration of NGO and Charity:

Step 01:  Application to the NGOAB

Step 02: Follow the prescribed format, namely ‘FD -1 Form

Step 03: Submission of Necessary documents with FD-1 Form

Step 04: Payment of government fees, i.e. Treasury challan, VAT etc.

Step 05: Application forwarded to Ministries

Step 06: Security Check by the Law enforcement agency, i.e. Special Branch of Police and National Security Intelligence etc.

Step 07: Inspection, Monitoring and Review of the NGO by the Ministry

Step 08: Review and final scrutiny by the NGOAB and if satisfied then issuance of a letter of registration to operate in Bangladesh.

Step 9: Timeframe for Registration process officially stated that 90 working days but in practice the entire procedure may take 6-7 months.

Time limit of Registration and Renewal:

The operational permit for an International NGO is for the next 10 years but the documents must be resubmitted within 6 month prior to the end of that 10 years to renew the time for operation in Bangladesh.

Option to operate without registration:

If an international NGO or charity has yet not been registered under NGOAB, then there is another way to operate its activities in this country and that is to partner up with an international organization which already has been duly registered, as per the said Act in Bangladesh. For example: working under the banner of a larger organization, with or without the associated services fees through abiding by the policy of the partner organization etc.

National NGO Registration Process:

  • NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB):

Apart from availing registration under various departments, i.e. Department of Social Services, Microcredit Regulatory Authorities, Department of Women Affairs, Bangladesh Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms etc., the local based NGOs in Bangladesh are also required to register at NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB) to receive donations from abroad, i.e. foreign organizations or institutions.

  • Concerned Laws:

   Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulations Act, 2016 (FDRA)

 Process of Registration:

Registration process of a Local NGO is similar as registration of an International NGO, as discussed above.

Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA):

The Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) is the authorized central body which promotes and foster the microfinance sector, as well as empowered to regulate, monitor and supervise the microfinance operations of the NGOs in Bangladesh. As per Microfinance Regulatory Act, 2006, the duly registered organizations under the Societies Registration Act, 1860; The Trust Act, 1882; The Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control) Ordinance, 1961; Cooperative Societies Act, 2001 and Company Act, 1994 can apply to Microcredit Regulatory Authority for license to operate micro credit program under the Microcredit Regulatory Authority Act, 2006

Concerned Laws:

Microfinance Regulatory Act, 2006  

Microcredit Regulatory Rules, 2010.

Process of Registration:

Step 01:  Application to the authority in the prescribed form that is ‘Annexure A’.

Step 02: Submission of Necessary documents along with ‘Annexure A’.

Step 03: The Authority will evaluate the information provided with the application and upon satisfaction will request for payment of the License Fee.

Step 04: The Authority will issue the license after the receipt of the license fee from the applicant but if the application is rejected, then the Authority will duly notify the applicant within thirty days in writing.

Department of Social Services (DSS):

An NGO or charity can be registered at Department of Social Services (DSS), under the Ministry of Social Welfare. However, registration is applicable only to those organizations, which will providing welfare services to children, youth, women, family, physically or mentally handicapped, family planning, recreation, civic responsibility, released prisoners, juvenile delinquents, socially handicapped, beggars and the destitute, patients, the aged or infirm, social work, or co-ordination of social welfare agencies.

Process of Registration:

Step 01: Issuance of name clearance from the concerned office.

Step 02:  Application for registration to the authority in the prescribed form that is ‘Form-B’.

Step 03:  Submission of required documents along with ‘Form-B’.

Step 04: Payment of government fees, i.e. Treasury challan, VAT etc.

Step 05: Application forwarded to concerned Ministries

Step 06: Security Check by the Law enforcement agency, i.e. Special Branch of Police and National Security Intelligence etc.

Step 07: Inspection, Monitoring and Review of the NGO by the Ministry

Step 08: Review and final scrutiny by the DSS and if satisfied then issuance of registration.

Step 9: Timeframe for Registration process under Department of Social Services may take around 5-7 months, which may vary depending on circumstances.

Department of Women Affairs (DWA):

Organization that is willing to work for women and children welfare can register under Department of Women Affairs (DWA), under the Ministry of Women & Children Affairs. Its organizational structure is also similar as  Department of Social Services (DSS).

 Process of Registration:

Registration process is almost similar as registration of under Department of Social Services under the The Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control) Ordinance, 1961 & related Rules, 1962, as discussed above.

 Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC):

An NGO or charity can be registered at Bangladesh Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms under Ministry of Commerce  and a great majority of non-profit organizations in Bangladesh has been formed and registered under this its wide scope and flexibility to permit a broad range of activities. 

Process of Registration under Societies Registration Act:

Seven or more persons associated in any literary, scientific, charitable purpose or any other similar purposes may apply to the Bangladesh Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms to form a society by subscribing to its memorandum of association, accompanied by the society’s rules and regulations. 

Step 01: Issuance of name clearance from RJSC.

Step 02: Application to RJSC along with the Memorandum of Association and Clearance letter for registration, with all the other required documents.

Step 03: Payment of government fees

Step 04: Security Check by the Law enforcement agency, i.e. Special Branch of Police and National Security Intelligence etc.

Step 05: Inspection, Monitoring and Review of the NGO by the concerned authorities.

Step 06: If satisfied then issuance of registration by the authority.

Process of Registration under Companies Act:

As per the provisions of Section 28 of the Companies Act, 1994, an association can be incorporated as a non-profit company conforming the rules and regulations of a company with limited liability, when it obtains a license from the concerned authority, i.e. Bangladesh Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms under the Ministry of Commerce .

The process of getting the registration from RJSC is almost the same as stated above. The government will grant license when it is duly satisfied that the association will promote commerce, art, science, religion, charity or any other useful objectives and it will apply its profits or income to promote its objectives without paying any dividend to its members. These types of welfare oriented companies may be incorporated as companies limited by guarantee under the Companies Act, 1994. 

 Trust Registration:

‘A trust may be created for any lawful purpose’ including charitable activity. The trustees are responsible to look after and management of the trust property to achieve the purposes as stated in the trust deed. A Trust can be created for any lawful purpose, i.e. for the benefit of children, for public good, for religious purpose or any other purpose by the interested persons, namely- legal or natural, with certain property, i.e. moveable or immovable, or fund for the purpose of welfare of the community. The trustee/s are responsible for looking after, as well as management of trust property to achieve the purposes as stated in the trust deed.

  • Relevant Laws:

         – Trust Act, 1882

Process of Registration of a Trust:

Step 01: A trust can be created through a trust deed specifying the intention of the author of the trust.

Step 02: The author of the trust in the trust deed has to indicate with reasonable certainty about his intension to create the trust, the purpose of the trust, the beneficiary, the trust-property and transfers of the trust property to the trustee.

Step 03: Certainty of words in unambiguous terms indicating intention, subject matter and specific objective are required for the creation of a valid trust.

Step 04: By registration of the trust deed the concerned organization can start functioning. For example: the trust deeds are registered at the Sub-Registrar Office where the head offices of the NGOs are situated. Foundations, Trust and such charitable organizations get registration under this Act.

Reporting regulatory authority of charitable trusts:

Till now, there is no regulatory authority to which charitable trusts are required to report and therefore it takes registration or license from other Non Profitable Organization regulatory or registration authorities for their smooth functioning. In such cases, Trusts have to report to that authority under the respective law.

Management of NGOs or charity under trust:

The management of a trust is done by a Board of Trustees by protecting the trust property, as well as, enhancing it to its maximum benefit, as defined in the trust deed.

 Waqf Registration:

The concept of Waqf under Muslim Law is to some extend similar to the English concept of trust. Here, the an owner of a property, i.e. both movable and immovable, by a declaration in an instrument can create a waqf for the use of beneficiaries in perpetuity. The waqf is administered by a trustee who is known as a mutawalli in accordance with the conditions of the waqf instrument.

Concerned Laws:

 The Waqfs Ordinance 1962

Process of Registration:

Step 01: Application to be filed by the Mutawallis waqf property at the office of the Administrator of Waqf

Step 02: On receipt of the application, the Administrator will proceed to register the waqf property after which, the Administrator will maintain its detailed information in his register, including the deeds, the name of the mutawalli, and the rules of succession to the office of mutawalli.

Shortcomings and Recommendation:

There are various NGOs or charity which has been formed and run under the Acts mentioned above but these same Acts has been making complexities at this present time. It is to be noted that, there is no uniform law to form an NGO, rather different type of laws, rules and regulations and bodies to form the same, based on its nature, objectives, purposes, constitution, resolutions etc. Hence, a consolidated uniform law can be said an utmost need for smooth formation, functioning and regularization of NGOs in Bangladesh. 

Concluding remarks:

Since its beginning, CLP as a full service law firm has been working with various types of local and international NGOs and has immense expertise on registration of both registration local and international NGOs or charity. If you need any assistance or consultation, visit us at our office or feel free to contact us on +8801700920980 or email us –  info@counselslaw.com

 

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