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Open and Start a Charitable Trust NGO in India (Update)

Social work is important for a better society.
Samyak Lalit | March 20, 2012 (Last update: September 22, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

This is an update from my main article on how to register a trust NGO in India. Now, I have found out that in order to register a public charitable trust –you don’t really need to get your trust registered with the sub-registrar of your area. However, if you do so, there is no harm in it.

Registration with the sub-registrar is effectively a way to safe keep your trust deed with the government. The registrar will issue a certified copy of the deed to you that you can use for your day-to-day purposes. If your copy gets lost or destroyed –you can go to the registrar’s office and get another certified copy made.

BUT the real registration of a public charitable trust takes place at the Income Tax Department when you apply for tax exemptions under sections 12A and 80G. Here is how it goes:

Prepare your trust deed. I strongly recommend that your take services of a good lawyer for this purpose. Then get the trust deed printed on a Rs. 100 stamp paper (i.e. the first page of the deed will be printed on the stamp paper and rest of the pages will be stapled with it.) Execute the trust deed by signing on all the pages. All the trustees will sign on all the pages.

Social work is important for a better society.

Social work is important for a better society.

Now, obtain form 10A and 10G from the Income Tax Department. You can download these forms from their website as well. Form 10A is for exemption under section 12A and form 10G is for exemption under section 80G.

NGO: Frequently Asked Questions

Duly fill these forms and submit these forms along with trust deed to the relevant official in the Income Tax Department’s exemptions office. Within 2-3 months, you’ll receive a clarification notice from the department. You should reply to all the questions and clarifications that the department asks for. Supply relevant documents if they ask for it. Once the tax department is satisfied –you’ll issued the Exemption Certificates.

SEE ALSO: Different between Trust and Foundation

The above said certificates shall bear a registration number which you can quote as the registration number your trust. Same process for 80G and 12A applies for NGOs registered as Societies.

Certificate for exemption under 12A bears the lifetime validity whereas the 80G certificate is valid only up to a period of 1 to 3 years.

Trust Registration: More Information

My readers have contributed a lot of questions on the subject of trust registration in India. I have answered many of these questions in the comments section given below. Please go through all the comments —you may find more clarity on several topics.

Also, please do read all my articles on how to register a trust and the process of society registration. You can also read about how trust and society are different from each other. All these articles are properly interlinked.

Ask a Question about Trust and Society Registration

After carefully reading all the relevant material given on this website, if you still have a question —please ask by making a comment. Please write proper English language and give as much details in your question as possible. This enables me and other readers to better understand your question. Please keep your questions only about the registration process. I can not, for example, tell you how to get government grants and donations. So, please do not ask such questions.

I hope you found this information useful. In case you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I will try my best to help you. Thank you for using TechWelkin!


117 responses to “Open and Start a Charitable Trust NGO in India (Update)”

  1. Sameen says:

    Thank you so much for all the information. What happens if an original trust deed is misplaced, What can be done. The trust is a registered trust.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Go to the registrar. They keep a copy of the deed. They can give you a certified duplicate of the trust deed.

  2. Shobha says:

    Hi Lalit,

    Thanks for this wonderful Article. We want to open Public Charitable Trust,below is my query:

    1.What is the meaning of Settlor. Can a Settlor be one of the Trustee also.

    2. What are the tax exemption for Trust as you said u/s 12 A and 80 G tax exemption is for Donor. So do trust also need to pay Tax to Govt.??

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Settlor is the person who initiates the trusts. He is basically one of the founder trustees. If the trust has 80g certificate, donors get tax benefit on the donated amount. If the trust also has 12a certificate, trust does not need to pay income tax.

      • robin says:

        once we get 80g in which manner or what ways the donor get benefits of it. how do we display to him is it in the form of a certificate we provide them for donating. please clarify if donor donates how we serve them in later stage.

        • Lalit Kumar says:

          When you will apply for 80g, the Income Tax department will give you a certificate. You can give photocopy or scanned copy of this certificate to the donor who wants to see your 80g credentials. Otherwise, just mention your 80g registration number on your donation receipts.

  3. Bhavana says:

    HI ! I”m happy to read your article its very useful , I had an quires , we are going to start a educational trust & planning to start an institution .
    after register the trust we can get a fund within a week , Is it possible to register the 12A and 80G exemptions immediately .
    Few people advising you can’t get tax exemption immediately you can get after 3 years .
    Before you getting tax exemption i have to pay 35% tax to the government

    What shall I do ,could you please help me for the solution

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      You can apply for 80g and 12a immediately after registration. And you don’t need to pay anything to the government.

  4. Janakiram says:

    What is the procedure to start a trust in case the trustee is a minor?


    Dear Mr. LALIT,

    Thanks for the details! I have few queries regarding the same: We have registered the Trust with the Sub-registrar office on 18th of Feb 2016 & we are now in the process of applying for 12A & 80G exemptions. Bank account is also been applied for & we are hoping to get the same in few days time.

    We have been receiving funds from our known circle from December 2015 onwards in our personal current account & we have been putting it into use for various activities! We have proper bills for the same.

    My query is that whether it is possible to account this donation money for the Trust even before it was registered. Can the receipts be issued for a prior date before trust registration? I heard that trust can be registered within 3 months to 1 year from the date of incorporation & hence the donations received prior to registration can also be accounted. How does it happen? Please clarify!!!

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Well, this is tricky. I am not sure about it. Technically, before 18 February 2016 your trust did not exist -so you can not accept donations in the name of non-existent trust. If you ask me, I would consider prior donations your personal income. But you should speak with your CA in this regard. Also, if the prior donation is a significant amount, it is better to clarify it with Income Tax Office of your area.

  6. Prabhat says:

    Dear Lalit,

    If some person donate the money in my trust a/c more than 20 lac then whether i has to give ans,. to income tax where its come from .

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      You just file your IT Return as usual. If Income Tax Department would want to know the source they will ask you. I don’t know of any separate process through which we can tell the department about donations.

  7. n Kumar says:

    Hello I am a government employee. Whether I can make an educational trust and be a trustee of it. Whether I have to submit my trust to my government office. If I do not show this to my government office then whether there happen problem. Give early reply

  8. REZVIN says:

    The NGO I want to form will be supplying certain materials to the rural areas. Can I start a company under the trust to produce the items required for completing the objectives of the trust ?? Else I will have to buy in large quantities from different manufactures. Are both of these or at least any one doable for a trust??

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      You can do business but all the profits must go to the trust. Also, turnover only up to 10 lakhs is exempted from tax. If your company will make more money than this, you will have to pay tax.

  9. Farhad says:

    Hello Mr. Lalit.

    I am a Teacher by Profession and I even conduct coaching classes. I teach the Children who are belonging to low income group families and uplift them to be competent in the society. However, I too belong from a Middle Class Family. And so I am required to charge them a notional amount of fees which is also unaffordable to them.

    To educate this children and after going through your article, I am inspired to start a Public Charitable Trust. However there are two queries which I required you to adhere and comment upon.

    – Firstly, can I start a Trust with an objective of providing free coaching to the unprivileged children in a rented premises?

    – Secondly, could I be able to reasonably remunerate myself as you mentioned in the article?

    I would be a Teacher as well as a Trustee to the aforesaid discussed Trust that I am intending to form.

    Your light to my issue could help me to bless the unprivileged to come out of darkness of their personal life.

    Thank you.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Well, honestly, I don’t see the reason why you would want to register a trust. After registering the trust, you are planning to do exactly what you’re doing now! So, what would be the benefit of having a trust? If you want to remunerate yourself, best is that you keep on doing the good work you are doing now. You may think of opening a trust if you want to gather more resources and use them for educating kids at a larger level. But you should know that running a full-fledged trust would take up your time and energy and that may hamper your Teacher’s job.

      • Farhad says:

        The benefit of having a trust will be I could benefit more and more unprivileged by collecting donation from the Society and I am ready to devote all my time and energy if I could help someone to have a great career ahead.

        I request you to answer my query which is still left unanswered.

        • Lalit Kumar says:

          1) Yes, you can start trust in a rented premises.
          2) Yes, technically you can take “reasonable” remuneration but I have been suggesting people that a trustee should refrain from taking any benefit/remuneration from the trust funds. There are all kinds of people out there. They can raise questions and may spoil the taste of social work. If you really need remuneration, you may think of not being a trustee in the trust. That will keep you relatively safer. It depends on you.

          I hope this answers the unanswered queries.

  10. Himanshu Trivedi says:

    Hii brother i am about to register a public trust and want to know that after registering i want to quick start the work and want to develop a website for my trust but it will take time to get 12a and 80g certification so how i add these spent money under trust account and get benefits?

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      You don’t get any benefits from 80g and 12a certificates. It is the donors who get benefits. And in any case, these certificates will become useful only in the next year when you will file the Income Tax return. So, you can begin your work without worrying. All the best!

  11. AMIT SHARMA says:

    Hi Mr. Lalit, doing wonderful work of guiding the people.
    I want to form a TRUST which can do surveys on the hot issues of the society or public opinion on the particular issue say for ex, reservation should be related to economic condition.
    Also to do work which can contribute in building up good society.
    Is it possible.

  12. Anil says:

    Thanks for sharing such a valuable information sir. I want to know whether or not public charitable trusts can receive donations from friends who are not trustees of the trust.

  13. Kiran says:

    Hi I work for a software company. Would that mean I can’t be the founder or president.
    Should I nominate someone else from my family. Can I be president while I work?

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Your working in a software company or anywhere else has nothing to do with your being founder or president of an NGO. You can start an NGO and become president or managing trustee or whichever post you are suitable for.

  14. AOK; An Act Of Kindness says:

    In the past, I’ve helped raise money to cover medical expenses for those who couldn’t afford it by helping spread the word and at no point did I accept any donations directly.
    However, I’ve often been advised to setup a trust as this would let me accept funds and the money can go to the needy when required.

    Keeping this in mind, I want to setup a completely Non-Profit trust where I will make 0 Rs from the trust and everything goes to the needy. A few questions that I have are:

    1. What are the requirements to accept funds from sources outside India? Is there a limit on the amount that can be accepted?

    2. I have been advised to purchase/buy an old trust (or non-functioning trust) because it would save me money on getting the relevant 10G/80G/other certificates and the charter/objectives can be updated to suit the requirements of my trust – is this a good idea?

    3. A lawyer informed me that setting up a public charitable trust is an expensive affair and would cost me upto a lakh at least to setup!
    Is this true? Can you give me an estimate of how much it would ideally cost me to open a trust?

    Appreciate your time and assistance!

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Hi there, I believe that registering a new trust is better idea because that will save you from the past of the existing trust you might be considering buying. Registering a new trust does not cost one lakh Rupees. Even if you get all the work doen through a CA, I don’t think it should cost more than Rs. 10,000. In case of my NGO, I did all the registration work on my own and it cost me less than Rs. 1500 only.

  15. Bobby says:

    Hats off for your guidance. I would like to ask if is it necessary to fill in the proceeding book yearly?

  16. Mohamed says:

    Its a very informative article and your reply to questions asked in comments Section adds clarity. I would like to thank You for that. I have question though. Can a Trust have more than one settlor? or say if two different individual person wants to start a trust together with equal authority over the trust activities, is it possible?

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Settlor is just another trustee. Settlor does not have any superior authority unless specified in the Trust deed.

  17. Shubha Chacko says:

    Thanks for all this useful information. Amazing. Keep up the good work. I have a query. We have a trust that was registered with 3 trustees. Later we have added a few more trustees. While applying for 12A and 80G is it enough if we show the minutes of the meeting saying we are adding more trustees or do we need some other documents? Shubha

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      You need to furnish details of whatever meetings have taken place. For rest of the documents, please ask your CA. Any good CA will know how to apply for 12a and 80g certificates.

  18. Praakesh says:

    Hi sir, I am a church pastor and social worker from Andhra Pradesh. what my question is that, if I form a public charitable trust, will be there any problem for me to continue religious activities? Kindly provide me your precious guidelines at the above matter. thank you and I appreciate you a lot for your noble and wonderful efforts. respectfully

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      You should not have any problem in registering a charitable trust. Also, there should not be any problem in your pursuing personal religious activities. However, a lawyer would give you better advice in this regard. Find a good lawyer and consult.

  19. VANDANA RAHEJA says:

    Hello Sir,
    Pls solve my query….

    will a Public Trust registered under “THE INDIAN TRUST ACT, 1882 also allowed to conduct activities ALL OVER INDIA? i.e. Mumbai…?

  20. T . K. Janakiram says:

    Lalith Ji, super article. I am central PSU retired official. I can spare nearly 5 lac. for helping the needy people for their education purposes. Is there any minimum amount required to start a Trust.
    Kailashnath bless you.
    Janakiram, Madurai. Tamilnad.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Janakiram ji, there is no minimum amount required to start a trust. You can start a trust even with a couple of thousand rupees.

      • Thiyagarajan Chinnathambi says:

        Dear Lalit ji
        Wonderful information. I am a professor and research person. I like to start a research foundation to promote research education. Reading your wonderful article and lot of answers to number of people in your blog I have clear idea. Thank you.

  21. shreya says:

    I wish to start an organization for cancer care management.
    our main work will be research and advocacy for cancer.
    I wish to know will trust be the better option for it , as we will involved in legal issues for this purpose,.
    Also, can home address be shown as office address.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      There is nothing like whether trust is a better option. Trust and society both have their own pros and cons. You can definitely register a trust for research and advocacy for cancer. You can use your home address as registered office address.

  22. Dr.V.K.Bupesh Raja says:

    Dear Sir,
    1. Should i start a savings or current bank account for my public trust.
    2. Should i submit an annual accounts summary audited by an auditor.
    3. Is it required to submit tax return every year.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      You may open a savings account for your trust. You will have to get your trust’s accounts audited every year by a CA and you will have to file the IT return as well every year.

  23. SUNIL says:

    I wish to start a Charitable trust with some inherited money & my own contribution amounting to Rs. 25 lacs. The objective would be animal care, senior citizens welfare, poor children’s education etc. The initial amount of Rs. 10 lacs would be invested and the return would help to run the Trust & cover expenses like CA fees etc.
    1) Can a US citizen of Indian origin be one of the trustees ?
    2) Would the Return on investment be subject to Income tax ?
    3) Can I as a Settlor make monetary donation to the Trust & take 80G benefit for myself
    4) What kind of expenses incurred for running the Trust activities can be claimed e.g. conveyance, travel etc.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      1) Read about NRIs becoming Trustees in Indian Trusts
      2) If you will invest the money then the return on investment will be your income. So, it will be taxable. If you give Rs. 10 lacs to the trust and then invest it -then the return will not be taxable because it would be trust’s money.
      3) Yes, you can.
      4) Trust does not need to pay tax if you have 12a certificate. But you will not get any exemptions just because you are running the trust. If you’re traveling for trust’s purpose, you can add the fuel cost to trust’s account.

  24. Gunalan Natarajan says:

    We are setting up a Trust and would appreciate if the following queries are answered:

    I understand that donations to Trusts are classified in two categories;

    1) Donations received with specific direction that they shall form part of corpus fund
    Such donations are exempt
    2) Donations received without such specific instruction

    To claim exemption under category (1), what sort of evidence is required that the donor has given specific direction that the donation shall form part of Corpus fund?

    The other query is:

    Is it possible to register the Trust with ITO (Form 12A & 80G) even before registering the deed with sub-registrar? This is to ensure that the contents of the deed is acceptable to ITO for granting exemption.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      1) If you issue a donation receipt to the donor then the donation becomes part of corpus fund. I am not sure how else (and why?!) a trust can get money to work with. All the money that comes to the trust as donation is exempted. And there is no reason why some money should come not as donation.

      2) You have to register the trust with the sub-registrar first. You can not directly apply for 12A or 80G.

  25. Nitwit says:

    Hi Lalit,
    We have a charitable trust run by a Christian young people’s group. Though we are Christians, our work extends to all. we are involved in rescuing children in labour and educating them. They come from every religion. However we are all Christians, and the driving force behind all this is the love Jesus showed and his commands to love. We want to keep that driving force intact. As of now, all of our employees are Christians. Can we maintain that even in the future? Can we include a clause in our policy saying “that every employee should be a Christian “? However our services are for public and never for the Christian community. Ours is registered as a Public Charitable trust.

  26. yogesh says:

    This article is very informative; I must salute you. I live in Bhopal, madhya pradesh and I want to setup a public charitable trust. MP has its own trust act – MP Public Trust Act 1951. I have few questions to you.

    1. Is registration procedure same as described in this article?
    2. I did a little research and find that here I do not need to go to area sub-registrar but to the Collector, (He will act as registrar). Is it true?
    3. Will the trust deed prepared according to you in this article applicable before the collector? Or I need to prepare documents differently?
    4. Will a public trust registered under MP public trust act 1951 also allowed to conduct activities all over India?

    I will appreciate your response.


    • Lalit Kumar says:

      I am not aware of the specifics of the Madhya Pradesh Public Trust Act 1951. But I assume that the registration process would be more or less. You should visit the collector’s office and ask them the specific questions. Registering a trust requires due diligence.

  27. Minakhi Devi says:

    With the help of some donations from others and our trustees we do our social works.
    With the help of a consultant, we registered a Public Charitable Trust in 2013.
    It is registered under Indian Trust Act 1882. Is it eligible for 12A and 80G.
    Can we apply for Govt. or non Govt. funds.

  28. Navin Anchan says:

    We are a group of friends working for couple of NGOs as freelancer for rescuing and relocating animals such as reptiles and dogs. We care about all the animals and try to save all in distress and from cruelty. Now what we believe is to do this on our own. And get a NGO registered. Now as all we know is to rescue, kindly suggest us what can we register. I read almost all, but there was nothing about animals. And we even wish to get this spread all over India. And yes let me know if snake rescuers can be insured. If yes then from who? Waiting for your reply.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Hi Naveen, kudos to you for your nice work of animal welfare. Whatever I know about registering an NGO, I have written all that on this website —please read. As for who can insure rescued snakes —well, it is too specific question. Please find an expert on this subject to get the answer.

  29. Jayanti says:

    Dear Sir,
    I would like to know about the validity of the Trust in India.
    With thanks

  30. Lipika says:

    Hi, this is Lipika, we have registered a trust in Delhi last year, I would like to know whether it is possible to open another office (beside the registered office address) in another State. Please suggest.

  31. suresh meshram says:

    Lalit Sir,

    Thanks for detailed information on the how to register a trust in India. The information is really very good for someone like me who doesn’t know about it much. We are group of friends who were doing charity work since last 3-4 year by giving donation to many other trust. However the fund we collected could distrusted only with individual name through individual bank account etc. Now we would like to start trust and start donating through trust name and more organized way. The hurdle is I am the only person presently working in India and all my other friends are working in abroad (gulf countries). How can I start a trust in this situation?

    Following are my few question.

    1. Can register trust able to receive the funds from outside India. If not, the what best we can do.
    2. What are documents are required to open a trust bank account. Other than registration copy of trust.
    3. Do I need to pay tax on donation received. If I am not getting any interest on the donation. Whether we have to pay tax irrespective of we received interest or not?
    4. As we are not directly going to needy persons but we donating the amount to other trust is there any problem in this.
    5. I am ready to manage all the things from India. Is there any audit for the trust.
    6. We don’t have any registered office. I am planning to give my resident address for the trust registered office. Is there any problem.
    7. How much time required to register a trust and start donating or doing charitable work.
    8. Is there any legal implementation if the two trust name are same. As we don’t know the name in our mind is already taken by any other trust or not.

    Looking forward for your valuable inputs.
    Thanks in advance.


    • Lalit Kumar says:

      I am not really sure if opening a trust is the best for doing what you want to do. If all the funds you collect is few thousand rupees, then I don’t think it’s worth taking the hassle. If if you’re collecting like several lakhs or crores of rupees —then it could be a good idea to start a trust. Anyway, that you have to decide. Here are the answers:

      1. No, you can’t get funds from outside until you apply for and get the FCRA certificate. You need to run your trust for three years, and should be able to show some good work done before you can apply for FCRA.

      2. You would need trust’s PAN card, address proof, signatures of all the trustees. Go to bank and they will tell you their requirements.

      3. You can apply for 12a certificate, if you get it, you would not need to pay income tax on donations you get.

      4. I don’t think so.

      5. Every year, you must get the audit done by a professionally qualified CA.

      6. No. There is no problem if you’re the owner of your residential property.

      7. One month if all goes as planned.

      8. I am not sure about it. But try to pick a unique name.

  32. Ash says:

    I have a simple question,
    I would like to know how to find the registered charities (not for profit) online. Are there any official websites which tells us about the charity background and accounts for the previous years similar to the registrar of companies.
    Thank you very much .

  33. Akshat says:

    Could you please let me know if it is allowed to have father and sons as trustees of public charitable trust.


  34. sunil modi says:

    respected sir,
    i would like to have your valuable advice . the question is whether the trust can give salary to trustees ? in one trust , trustees are drawing salary of good amount. one of the member has raised the point. it is an education institution. income is not taxed. now when trustees are given salary since long and there is no such provision in the constitution , pl. advice me whether the trust will be taxed for this act from back date ? pl. oblige me.
    sunil modi

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Hello Sunil, I have written an article about whether trustees can draw salary from trust fund. See, trustees can take salary but only if they are providing some professional services to the trust. There should not be any compensation just for being a trustee. If Income Tax department take notice of this and if they feel that trustees are drawing salaries as profit —the department can either revoke your 80g and 12a exemption certificates and/or tax the trust from back date.

  35. Jemma Penelope says:

    Hello, I am from New Zealand trying to help my friend’s charity. He is registered but needs to now submitt to the tax dept. Thank you so much for your article.

    Because my friend’s charity has been opperational for several years, does he need to give any reccords of donations and spending or accounts to the tax department to get the tax exempt status?

    Also, what is the best way to find a lawyer to do this tax exempt registration?

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Yes Jemma, if the charity has already been running, you will have to produce all donation details so far. This needs to be furnished as properly audited reports. For this task, you’ll need a Chartered Accountant (CA).

  36. Capt Avinash says:

    Dear Lalit,

    I have been trying to find relevant information on and off from various sources regarding registering and a NGO in the field of education, skill development etc of students and youth. I must say your articles have lifted the shadow of apprehension forming in my mind to go ahead with this initiative. I have gone through some comments and replies and have few queries.

    1. Bank account has to be opened in the individual name or trust name?
    2. As a settlor if i give a loan to the trust can i charge interest on that amount? Also is there any time limit for the loan to be repaid?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Dear Avinash, I am glad that you found my articles useful. When you register a Trust, the bank account must be opened in the name of the trust. Settlor can give loan to the trust and may charge interest on that (however, charging interest may sound that the Settlor is not so social-work oriented). There is not limit on the repayment of the loan. Trust will be able to repay your loan only if and when it will have sufficient funds of its own (by the means of donations and grants). After setting up the trust, if you fail to raise funds for the trust, you may never get your loaned amount back! All the best for your endeavors.

  37. Omar says:

    Me and some friends are planning to start a charitable initiative. We may or may not accept donations from people. My question is, do we really need to register a trust with the charity commissioner?

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      If you don’t need donations from public, you can do social work even without registering an NGO.

  38. Anil Shukla says:

    Can a trust in India be made and registered in India by someone from outside India. Is there a different procedure for this and can non-Indians be trustees. This is for educational purposes. Thank you.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      I don’t think a non-Indian person can register an NGO in India. Also it advisable that non-Indians don’t become trustees. There is not much clarity on this issue. So, if it can be helped, better to make only Indian trustees. For more details, you should speak with your lawyer.

  39. HARSH MALPANI says:

    i went to registrar office for registering my trust. trust deed was made in english . so registrar refused to do it. he says that make it in hindi as i dont understand english language and cannot do it. is it correct . how should i go abt. it .please advice me

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      You can very well make Trust Deed in English. Nothing bars you from writing trust deed in English. You should complain against the registrar.

  40. anoop says:

    Both your articles on registering trust were extremely useful. Thanks a ton for taking time out and writing this.
    I have a question though. If I don’t need tax exemption and I don’t want a bank account, do I still not need to go to the sub registrar to formally register the trust? I couldn’t find a direct answer to this in both your articles. Thank you.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Anoop, registering a trust is not mandatory. If you don’t register, no one can stop you from doing social work. But such attempts are more like “done by someone at individual level”. It’s more or less like you every day walk to a slum and offer food to a few kids. But if you want to something on a bit bigger level, and involve funds and more people to help your work, then it is better to register it to give the whole idea a formal structure and legal standing.

  41. tina says:

    Dear Lalit Ji

    Thanks for your kind guidance. I have some queries:

    1. Whether a central goverment emplyee can be a settlor or trustee of a trust? If yes then is it mandatory to inform this to his/her employer?
    2. whether the profit can be given to persons who are employed at the trust (except settlor and trustee)?

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Dear Tina ji,

      1) Yes, a government employee can be a trustee or settlor, but the Trust’s activities must not be against the government’s stated policies. Otherwise, you may face trouble in your government job. It is better to inform your government office before you join a trust.

      2) You can keep salaried employees for the Trust’s work and their salary can be paid from the Trust’s funds. You give such employees a reasonable salary and not “profit”.


  42. RaviKumar says:

    Hi, Very interesting and useful information is provided for trust.
    I want to establish a trust for Educational and charitable activities. I stay in chennai. My trust has the objective of providing free food ,cloths and education to children below the age of 15 . I want to start this trust with 4 member team .To fulfill the needs and objectives we want to collect fund from various sources and also would like to establish an educational skill development center to generate more income .Can i handle both these charitable and educational ( collecting fee from regular students ) in one single banner .. Kindly advise

  43. priya says:

    Hi lalit, do you have any idea how much money will be incurred in applying for 12a and 80 G, and also I have got my Ngo trust deed registered, now what all I am able to do after registration trust deed. I mean to ask what difference it makes after the registration, also my Ca told me to apply for 80gand 12a along with his fees and income tax commissioner charges, total.will come out to be 1 lac. So unable, I held the exemption process..

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Hello Priya, Paying Rs. one lakh for getting 12a and 80g exemption certificates is totally an absurd idea. A CA should not ask for more than 5-6 thousand Rupees for applying for and getting both these certificates. Your second question is very amusing. If you've prepared a Trust Deed you should know what all you want to do under the name of your Trust. Registering the Deed is just a per-requisite to get 12a and 80g and FCRA etc. But what all you will be able to do that you should know beforehand.

  44. G.Sekhar says:

    is a charitable institution will get property tax exemption? what are the pre-requisites to get property tax exemption?

  45. Matilda Franco says:


    Can you please let me know what are the pros and cons of setting up a foundation or a trust or both.


    • Lalit Kumar says:

      There is no difference between Trust and Foundation. Foundation is just a word.

  46. Rajesh kumar says:

    I am Rajesh I want to start a trust ngo to run all over India. I complete my deeds but I don't know where I go to register my trust. I want to know what is the difference between 10a 10g 12a
    and 80g.

  47. Prabhav Gupta says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful article.
    I have a registered charitable trust in delhi and i wants to alter its name and add a trustee to it. Can you please help me the the procedure.
    Prabhav Gupta

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      If your Trust is not very old and well established, I would suggest, don't change name. Instead create a new Trust. As for adding trustees, you can pass resolution.

  48. Anish says:

    I belong to an alumni network of a college. Last year, one of our batch-mates died in an accident. Over an year now and his family has not received the expected insurance benefits.

    Our alumni network decided to help the deceased colleagues family. Instead of contributing money directly to our late-colleague's family (which would incur a tax liability), we are looking to set up a charitable trust for the needy families of our alumni that suffer death or disability due to an accident.

    My questions is that can we create a Charitable Trust for a specific set of beneficiaries rather than everyone?

    The Charitable trust would provide a regular monthly income to the deceased's family and would look to grow the fund through financial investments for future beneficiaries. We also hope to contribute annually to the Trust to keep the fund going.

    Please advise.

    Thanks and regards,

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Hi Anish, your question is quite interesting. I guess, instead of registering a trust, you should register a society. A society better suits your needs. Your scenario is pretty much like that of a Resident's Welfare Association (RWA) where a group of people come together to help each other within the group.

  49. Saurabh Bhowmik says:

    Is it necessary to wait for three year for getting the 80G certification for a newly build NGO?

  50. shirsagar says:

    Great info sir, is there any problem by making a trust without the help of sub registar and sir thanks again for the great info.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      You can make a trust without getting it registered with the registrar. But in such a case, you’ll not be able to open bank account, nor would you be able to apply for 12A and 80G exemptions.

  51. Srikanth says:

    Hi LK,

    Can a trust name of a registered trust can be changed or amended if accepted by all trustees?

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      No. The name can not be changed because it’s too messy. It’s better to register a new Trust if you MUST change the name.

  52. Inder says:

    I want to register a NGO (as trust). I am from Jaipur, but I want area of operation as whole of India (National Level NGO).
    May I ask for requirements?
    Is it compulsory to have a address at Delhi?

  53. Naresh says:

    Dear Sir,

    I read your articles about setting up a trust. I also want to open a trust from the personal fund I have accumulated for the charity purpose. As you have mentioned, there is no need to register the trust. Then what is procedure to set up a trust without getting it registered? At least some kind of documentation will be required to bring the trust into existence. How can I open the bank account on the name of the trust?



    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Dear Naresh ji, I would request you (and all my readers) to read the articles carefully. Most of your answers are in there. I feel happy to answer question that have not been covered in my Trust / Society related articles.

  54. nirav thakkar says:

    hi, this is nirav thakkar
    sir kindly let me know that how many person will join me to start my charitable trust. minimum and maximum.

  55. Roshan kumar says:

    sir, your articles are clear and informative,thanks for that.
    now i have few queries which i would like to be answered:
    1)does trust deed contains trust registration no. or not.if it is not there then when and where i would find that;
    2)whether a newly registered public charitable trust can get exemption under I.T or not,if not then how long will it take;
    3)suggest me some law books and other journals to know the laws relating to functioning of PCB;
    4)how long it takes to PCB,to get enrolled for FCRA

  56. kolla srinivasarao says:

    Sir my name is k srinivasarao. I want to registration TUST.I am in AP Prakasam Dist. I know only teluge,and I talking little in english.Please talk to me. My cell no 9603536400. I waited for your phonecall. Thanking you

  57. Shweta says:

    super!am so glad having found your articles!!!!thanks, atleast I found the starting point!