NPO registration step-by-step guide 2021: Simple steps to follow

NPO registration step-by-step guide 2021: Simple steps to follow

Do you want to start and register a non-profit making organisation? If so, follow the below NPO registration step-by-step guide 2021 and get to know how to do it. With the NPO online registration, things have been made easier and straightforward for anyone wishing to go down this path. Therefore, knowing how to go about registration is crucial.

NPO registration step-by-step guide 2021
Photo: canva.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

The primary objective of an NPO is to benefit the public, not to make a profit. With the online NPO registration, things have become easier and quicker. Before securing your NPO registration certificate, you need to know the various steps involved for you to do it right. You can only get the certificate after adhering to all laid down protocols and attaching the relevant support documents. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to register.

NPO registration process

NPO registration
NPO registration process. Photo: pexels.com
Source: UGC

For your organisation to be considered a legal entity, you have to register it the right way and at the right place. To start with, get the NPO registration form available at the website or from a provincial social development office. The certificate is crucial as it proves that you operate the organisation legally. If you are ready to have your NPO registered and known officially, follow the procedure below:

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  1. Have the NPO registration form filled and attach the relevant documents. Submit the same at the nearest provincial social development office. Below are some of the documents to attach:
  • Certificate of incorporation and articles of association
  • Deeds of trust and letter of authorisation from the courts
  • Constitution- you can ask around and get a sample of such constitutions and amend yours accordingly.
  • After that, you can choose whether to register online or post your application form and two copies of your NPO founding documents. These include the deed of trust and memorandum and articles of association.
  • If you opt to post the application, address it to

NPO Directorate, Department of Social Development, Private Bag X901, Pretoria, 0001

Or hand-deliver them to:

NPO Directorate, HSRC Building, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria, 0002

Or visit the dsd.gov.za NPO registration for any inquiries.

2. To know how to check NPO registration, refer to npo.gov.za to check your status. The status will reflect - Registered, De-Registered, or Non-compliant.

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3. If your registration is not successful, you are given a chance to appeal to the panel arbitrators for a review.

4. Once the registration is successful, it is mandatory to submit the organisation's annual report nine months after its financial year-end. The annual report should include the narrative report and financial report as part of its requirements.

Steps for online NPO registration in South Africa

For successful online registration, you will need to have a laptop or computer with internet. Also, you will need your organisation's constitution or founding documents fully signed and saved as .pdf, .doc or .docx files. And lastly, have your certified IDs of office bearers saved in .pdf, .doc or .docx format.

Steps involved:

  • Step 1: Open the online NPO registration page.
  • Step 2: Complete the required information that pertains to the name of the organisation, organisation type, contact details, full names of office bearers, among other things included there. Once complete, click next.
  • Step 3: In the section for office bearers, click on Add an Office Bearer. A form to complete details for each office bearer will appear. After adding all the office bearers, be sure to type in the number of office bearers above the office bearer names. There has to be a minimum of 3 office bearers, with a maximum set by your constitution. When complete, click on next.
  • Step 4: This section requires uploading the Founding Document (Constitution, Trust Deed or MOI) and Supporting Documents (ID Copies or any other documents relevant to the registration) in .pdf, .doc or .docx format. When complete, click on next.
  • Step 5: The last section of the application is a declaration of authorisation to apply and correct the information provided in the application. Tick the box next to I Agree and click on the Submit button.
  • Step 6: A reference number for the application will be provided. Keep this for any future enquiries on the status of your application. The reference number will also be sent to the Contact Person's e-mail address or cellphone.

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Importance of having the certificate

NPO registration certificate
NPO registration certificate. Photo: @PaarlYouth_Club
Source: Twitter
  1. It makes your organisation a legal entity.
  2. Improves your credibility hence more funding opportunities.
  3. Allows the organisation to open a bank account under that name.
  4. It is essential when your organisation needs to access tax incentives.

While the benefits are many, it is not open to all. The government comes in to regulate who to be licensed to avoid malpractices in the sector. You are only eligible to register if you are any of the following:

  • A community-based organisation (CBO).
  • A non-governmental organisation (NGO).
  • A faith-based organisation (FBO).

How to register an NPO with CIPC

You have an option of registering your NPO with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). To do so, you need to follow the below steps:

  • Register as a customer.
  • Deposit funds.
  • Reserve a corporate name.
  • Register your company manually.
  • Service turnaround time: 25 working days from the date of tracking.

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Frequently asked questions

Below are the frequently asked questions about the NPO registration process. The info given is true to the word, having been derived from reliable sources.

How long does NPO registration take?

It would take about two months to process the full registration. Immediately on receipt of the application, an acknowledgement letter is sent to the organisation. After that, a registration certificate follows if the application meets the requirements of the NPO Act.

What is needed to register an NPO?

To register your NPO, you will need the following documents:

  • A founding document/constitution.
  • A deed of trust (a written agreement used by trusts)
  • The memorandum and articles of association (which set out the mission of your NPO and monitors its growth)

Where do I register an NPO in South Africa?

You can submit your non-profit organisation (NPO) application to your nearest provincial social development office. NPOs include trusts, companies, or other associations of persons established for a public purpose.

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How much does it cost to register an NPO in South Africa?

NPO registration in South Africa is free and easy to do yourself. This is regardless of whether you do it online or at a DSD office. The provisions of the Nonprofit Organisations Act, 1997 (Act 71 of 1997) are simple to follow while drafting the constitution.

Can an NPO claim VAT?

Different VAT rules apply to non-profit organisations (NPO). The benefit to a welfare organisation of registering for VAT is that it will be entitled to deduct input tax regarding expenses related to its welfare activities. This is even where no consideration is charged on supplies, and no output tax is declared.

NPO registration has so many benefits, and that makes it crucial. Once registered, you are eligible to receive grants or donor-funding and benefit your organisation. If you have not yet registered, try it today and reap the many benefits it comes with. You can read more on the NPO registration South Africa on the official website.

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DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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