Society, as we know it, is an association of individuals who come together and interact with one another, and if there is one thing we, as social beings know, is that living without reciprocity and human interaction is quite a nightmare. But, technically, it is defined as a union of people who possess a shared purpose and come together to cooperate, on mutual consent, to act upon and achieve the same.

In strictly technical lexicon, a society is formed to cater to the need of a non-profit organization, or an NGO, in order to bring stability and organisation into the concept of conducting charity and social service in various spheres, such as education, art, culture, religion, music, sports, etc.

Social registration is the legitimate act of registering such entities who work for the betterment of society following a non-profit base.


Purpose of Society Registration

Legally speaking, the scope and purpose of organisations that identify as societies have been specified and are regulated to promote and aid progress and development in the fields of science, literature, fine arts, charity, and public political opinion along with dissemination of unbiased and reliable information. Going by Section 20 of the Society Registration Act, the following objectives can be considered to make a society qualified for registration under the Act:-

  • Funding for charitable assistance
  • Formation of Military orphan funds
  • Societies recognized at the General Presidencies of India
  • Endorsement of Science
  • Literature
  • Fine Arts
  • Commands or diffusion of useful knowledge
  • Dissemination of political education
  • Groundwork or maintenance of libraries or reading rooms
  • Public museum and galleries of paintings
  • Works of Act
  • Collections of innate history
  • Mechanical and philosophical inventions
  • Instruments
  • Designs


What is the Apartment Owners’ Association?

The Apartment Owners Association (AOA) essentially refers to a consumer organization that represents the interests of property owners and preserves and protects their rights. These organisations are formed on a voluntary basis. It is the duty of these Organisations. to provide a number of other services too- maintenance of common areas, ensuring that the rules of the society are followed,  working towards achieving the welfare of the residents by arranging for special initiatives or events- all fall under this purview. The AOA is also in charge of settling any dispute that may involve the association and the association in case of any legal proceedings against it.


Importance of registration of Apartment Associations

The Societies Registration Act of 1960 allows the formation of an Apartment Owner’s Association. There are certain other laws as well, that one can form such an association under, like the Apartment Association Act or certain local legislations in different cities. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has ordained that only such organisations that qualify as registered residents ‘welfare associations (RWAs), consumer organizations, cooperatives or flat or plot buyers’ union builders, can lodge complaints in the NCDRC, to pray for compensation for the losses incurred as a result of substandard construction.

There are several other actions and responsibilities, too, that can be undertaken only by a registered AOA. here is a list of such activities.

  • Taking suitable action against residents who violate the rules of society.
  • Enforcing law to maintain discipline and ensure harmony within the society.
  • Charging interest and penalizing a member in case of failure in paying the maintenance charges.
  • Taking legal action against members if they are involved in any offences of the likes of forgery et cetera, or if they cause any kind of loss to the association as a whole or to the members thereof.
  • Execute tax formalities and bank operations


Process of Society Registration

Society registration is maintained by state governments. Therefore, concerned individuals must apply to the respected authority of the state in which the registry office is located, for society registration.


Documents Required for Society Registration

The following documents will be required for the Society Registration in India:-

  1. PAN Card of all the members of the proposed society has to be submitted along with the application.
  2. The Residence Proof of all the members of the society also has to be submitted. The following can be used as a valid residence proof:
    • Bank Statement
    • Aadhaar Card
    • Utility Bill
    • Driving License
    • Passport


  1. A name of the society has to be selected at the time of registration which has to be unique and cannot be identical or similar to an existing registered society.
  2. Memorandum of Association has to be prepared which will contain the following clauses and information:
  • The work and the objectives of the society for which it is being established
  • The details of the members forming the society
  • The address of the registered office of the society
  1.  Rules & Regulations of the Society also have to be prepared which will contain the following information:
  • Rules and regulations the society has to abide by relating to its day-to-day activities
  • Rules for taking the membership of the society
  • Details about the meetings of the society and the frequency with which they are going to be held
  • Information about the Auditors
  • Forms of Arbitration in case of any dispute between the members of the society
  • Ways for the dissolution of the society


  1. A covering letter mentioning the objective for the formation of the society has to be annexed to the beginning of the application. It has to be signed by all the founding members of the society.
  2. A copy of the address proof where the registered office of the society will be located.
  3.  A list of all the members of the society has to be given along with their signatures.
  4.  A declaration has to be given by the President of the society that he is willing to hold the said post.

The Rules & Regulations along with the Memorandum of Association first has to be signed by all the members of the society and then has to be filed with the registrar of state with the mentioned fee. The registrar, after checking all the details of the society registration application, will issue the registration certificate of the society.


Benefits of Registering a Society

A society might be either registered or unregistered, but only a registered society enjoys some specific allowances that are mentioned below:-

  • Each certified society procures legal status.
  • Registered society can legitimately open its current account
  • Registered society can get delegation and regards under the Income Tax Act
  • Certified society gets the legal status that is necessary for statutory vesting of the wealth of society
  • Registered society gets legal identification before all forums and authorities
  • Members of the registered society are constitutionally bound to the same extent as if they had signed the Memorandum
  • A certified society can sue or be sued.

Therefore, getting a building association society legally registered is quite essential in order to avail the various rights and benefits that come along with it. Also, a builder cannot transfer the legal rights of the land on which the property is built to a particular home buyer. It has to be transferred to the Owners’ Association of the building.