What is an NGO?
An NGO is a legal entity that is formed for purposes of carrying out charitable activities and is ideally a Not for Profit organisation. NGOs are permitted to carry out profitable activities for purposes of supporting their charitable works. An NGO is capable of owning its own property/assets (like owning land and vehicles in its names); it can hold a bank account; it can enter into contracts; it can employ personel in its own names; it can borrow money in its own names and can sue or be sued. It has to be distinguished from a Community Based Organisation (CBO) which does not possess such attributes of a corprorate entity.
Requirements and stages involved in the registration of an NGO in Uganda.
NGOs in Uganda are registered at the NGO Bureau (National Bureau for Non Governmental Organisations.The Non-Governmental Organizations Act, 2016 mandates the NGO Bureau to register and maintain an up-to-date register of all NGOs in Uganda. NGOs are registered under five different categories namely Indigenous/local, Regional, Continental, Foreign and International.
It is at this office that documents are received in hard copies and once registered, the organisation is given an Operation Permit and Registration Certificate. A Registration Certificate is given once and the organisation uses the same certificate through out its years of operation. An Operation Permit on the other hand is given for the number of years the organisation applies for, ranging from one year to five years. The Operation Permit is renewable with in 6 months before the period stated on the permit expires.
Checklist of the requirements for registration of an NGO in Uganda
- Application for registration Form A.
- Application for Permit of Operation Form D
- A letter requesting for registration and a permit to operate, adressed to the Executive Director, NGO Bureau, indicating the objectives of the organisation, area of operation, and number of years applied for not exceeding (5) five.
- A Certified or Notarised Certificate of Incorporation from Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).
- Annual Workplan and Itemised Budget for the number of years applied for in the Permit application.
- A copy of the Organisations Memorandum and Articles of Association or Constitution with clear provisions on AGM, Quorum for winding up resolution, Governing body, Dissolution Clause and how assets shall be distributed upon winding up, among others.
- A chart showing the Organisational Structure of the NGO.
- A statement indicating source of funding for the activities of the organisation.
- Copies of valid identification documents (National ID or Passport) and Passport size Photos of the promoters/founder members.
- A copy of Minutes of the meeting that passed a resolution for NGO registration minuted according to NGO Bureau requirements, signed attendance list and the resolution duly registered.
- A statement of compliance with S.45 of the NGO Act 2016 on staffing requirements for non national staff.
- A recommendation from the District Non Governmental Organisation Monitoring Committee (DNMC) from the Headquarters where the organisation is located.
- Copy of the Memorandum of Understanding from the district of operation.
- Recommendation from responsible Ministry or Government Department or Agency.
- Proof of payment of prescribed fees for the Certificate of Registartion and Operation Permit.
- Copy of Internal Monitoring Tool (IRF)
Stage one involves promotion and incorporation of the organisation as a company limited by guarantee with standard clauses for NGOs in the Articles of Association. At this stage the company is given a Certificate of Incorporation and directors are appointed, the organisations constitution (Memorandum and articles of association) are registered.
Stage two is preparation of all legal documents required for NGO registration, organisations documents like budget, workplan; securing of all necessary recomendations and MOU from the district and line Ministry.
Stage three is the application process.
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