How to register your NGO in Zambia

So, you have this great idea ttarting a new non-profit supporting a cause you’re so passionate about is an exciting thing and I’m happy for you and I’ll be here to see you thrive and possibly write about you 😉. But there’s a lot of issues you will have to deal with on the adminstrative front and one of these issues is getting registered with the registrar of societies in Zambia. In this article I’ll be showing you exactly how to go about this procedure.

This registration is mandatory for all Non- Governmental Organizations (NGO’s). The Law of Non-governmental Organizations Act No. 16 of 2009 requires all Non-Profits to be registered in accordance with the act.

Who is the registrar of societies?

The Registrar of Societies is a department in the Ministry of Community Development and they are found at the ministry headquarters in Lusaka and the District Community Health Office in provincial capitals.

Step 1: Create Rules and Regulations/Constitution

You must a prepare a document known as a constitution which will basically explain your organization, rules and regulations and the various structures involved with it. Your constitution must contain the following;

  • Name of your organization
  • Postal/Physical Address
  • Objectives/Aims
  • Office Bearers
  • Duties of Office Bearers
  • Terms of Office Bearers
  • Membership
  • Termination of membership
  • Discipline
  • Finance
  • Meetings
  • Elections
  • Amendments to constitution
  • Dissolution
  • Disposal of assets upon dissolution

Step 2: Get a Recommendation Letter from Line Governmental Ministry

Another thing you will have to do that’s mandatory is to get a recommendation letter from a line ministry under which your non-profit organization will operate. So you need to visit the local ministry office in the town your NGO is based. [Read my Article on Choosing a Line Ministry Here]

Step 3: Submit Your Rules and Regulations to the Registrar of Societies

Submit three copies of of your rules and regulations and recommendation letters to the Registrar of Societies. This will lead to the fourth step, where the Registrar of Societies will give you another list of documents to be submitted as part of your application.

Step 4: The Application Process

In the application process, you will be required to submit six documents. These documents are as follows;

  • You will be given a form by the registrar of societies known as an Application for Registration/Tax Exemption. You must make two more copies of this form and submit all three.
  • You will have to submit your office bearers identification which is copies of National Registration Cards, Passports or Driver’s Licenses for Zambian members and Immigration Permits in respect to non-Zambians. You must include their phone numbers as well.
  • You will have to submit Fingerprint certificates of all bearers and members listed. All members must be scrutinized and cleared by Zambia Police. To do this, visit a Zambia Police Office and they will issue certification. It costs ZMW50.00.
  • You will have to submit three certified copies of your Non-Profit’s constitution
  • And lastly, clearance letters from the Registrar of Societies, Patent and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) and the Ministry of Lands and Deeds
  • You will be required to pay an application fee of ZMW1,008.

Step 5: Certification

When your documents are approved, you will be given a certificate which has a registration number. The certificate is issued within three months of submission of all the required documents. You are advised to create a schedule which shows the deadlines.

And that’s it. I hope that from this small write up you now know what you need to do and how much you will need to set apart for this procedure.

I am wishing you all the best in your journey and I’m looking forward to seeing you do amazing things.

P.S. I will be posting sample Rules and Regulations as soon as I get the chance to create one for you. But if you need help in the meantime, feel free to email me. My email is on my homepage.

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