Registering Charities and NGOs

There are different types of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that are permitted to operate in Nigeria under statute, these include trade unions, community based organisations, social clubs, religious organisations, cultural associations, women's groups, youth clubs, professional associations, political parties, cooperative societies, specialised professionally run NGOs and friendly societies.

In Nigeria NGOs may be registered as a company limited by guarantee or as incorporated trustees (by which trustees of the NGO, rather than the NGO itself, obtains the status of a body corporate).

Companies limited by guarantee and incorporated trustees are both regulated by the Company and Allied Matters Act 1990 (CAMA).

A company limited by guarantee cannot be registered with share capital and can not be incorporated with the objective of carrying on business for the purpose for making profits for distribution to members. The memorandum of a company limited by guarantee can not be registered without the authority of the Attorney General of the Federation

The process for the incorporation of trustees commences with a search for the availability of the proposed name of the incorporated trustees, and then the application which contains a memorandum of guidance is procured. This is followed by the publication of notice of the proposed incorporation of trustees in at least three (3) national dailies, one being a local newspaper widely circulated in the area where the proposed organisation is to be based.

The duly completed application is then submitted to the Corporate Affairs Commission in triplicate and accompanied by the following:

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