NPO Registration – How To Register A Nonprofit Organisation

This article’s primary motive is to educate the general public about NPO, NPO registration, who can register with NPO, and all other related issues.

What Is NPO

An NPO is an abbreviation for Non-Profit Organization. The simplest of understanding or meaning, an NPO or NPOs are those organizations or outfits that are in existence not because it has intentions to make a profit from the service they render. NPOs are established to promote a cause, serve people or try to curb or correct a particular canker or anomaly in society.

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The sole aim of an NPO is to serve the general public and not to put monies in the pockets of self-serving individuals.

This does not mean that those who work for NPOs do not receive any form of remuneration. In as much as some of them may do the work of the NPO rather voluntarily, others receive a reasonable token that could pass as for salaries.

NPOs may include companies, trusts, and all form of organization that has been established for the sole motive of serving the general public.

What Is The Purpose of NPO

Non-profit Organizations are generally for the public. They are established to further better the lives of targeted groups of people by providing them with the needed resources. NPOs are not profit-oriented and are solely for the public benefit.

What Are The Three Types Of NPOs Under The NPO Act

The three types of Non-profit organizations that have been mentioned under the NPO Act are;

  • Voluntary Association
  • Non-profit Trusts
  • Non-profit Companies

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Are NPOs The Same As NGOs?

Most often than not, people assume that NPOs and NGOs are the same and they may not be far from the truth. They are as similar and different in the same space. Let’s list some of the differences between them below;

  • NPOs stand for Non-profit Organization whereas NGOs stand for Non-governmental organizations
  • Whereas NPOs are more likely to affiliate themselves with churches, youth clubs for boys and girls, alumni associations etc, NGOs on the other hand are more likely to look at the wider spectrum like the provision of relief items to disaster victims and look at solving or minimizing global issues to its barest minimum

How Are NPOs Funded In South Africa?

When it comes to NPOs, it is all about the people and how best they can be served. NPOs do not choose the people they want to serve based on the payment of that service. 

What they do is, they rather choose to provide services to people who need them the most whether they can pay fully for those services or not. In this light, most of the funding comes from;

  • Grants
  • Private individuals
  • Fundraising

In 2021 for instance in South Africa, 62% of NPOs funding reportedly came from South African private individuals.

What Is Needed To Register An NPO In South Africa?

To register a Non-profit Organization there are registration requirements and documents that are to be presented before your registration can push through. Here is the list;

  • A constitution is if the organization you want to register is Voluntary Association
  • A memorandum of association that is if the organization has been registered as an NPC
  • A deed of trust that is if the organization is a trust
  • A letter of authorization from the court

Which Organizations Can Apply For NPO Status?

  • Non-Governmental organizations
  • Faith-Based Organizations
  • Community-Based Organizations
  • And others…

What Is The NPO Registration Process?

  • First and foremost, you have to visit the website here https://www.gov.za/services/register-nonprofit-organisation
  • Fill out and complete the form that will ask you about details of the company or organization you intend to register
  • You then add the names of the bearers
  • You attach documents and supporting documents required
  • You make a declaration that confirms that you have thoroughly read and agree with all terms and conditions
  • You will then be provided with a reference for the application. This will either be sent to your email address or cellphone number so make sure they are actively working
  • You can either register online or post your forms to a designated address that is 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 

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How To Register NPO Online

To register online, follow these steps;

  • Visit the NPO registration page here https://www.gov.za/services/register-nonprofit-organisation
  • Complete the form with only the correct and appropriate details of the company that you are registering
  • Add on the bearers you are supposed to in their section
  • Proceed with attaching all of the required documents and if there are other supporting documents, do not forget to include them
  • At this stage, you have to upload all of the documents. These documents must be uploaded in either Pdf. Doc. Or Docx format only
  • Make your declarations and hit on submit to finalize your application
  • You then wait for your reference number which will be sent to you via either your phone or email

How To Check NPO Status 

To check your NPO status, kindly visit this link http://www.npo.gov.za/ . Search for your company you will either get registered, de-registered or non-compliant.

Can NPO Registration Be Done Alone?

If you want to know if an NPO can be registered on its own, then yes. What this means is that the NPO can register as itself. It does not necessarily need its members to register. Alternatively, NPOs can also register with their members.

How Many Members Must Have NPO?

You cannot register an NPO all alone. This is because, for an NPO to be registered, it needs to have a minimum of three directors and also three incorporators.

How Much Does It Cost To Register An NPO In South Africa?

You do not have to pay anything to register an NPO. It is free! Additionally, registering an NPO comes easy and one can do it himself or herself either online or in the DSD office.

Does NPO Pay Tax In South Africa?

Yes, they pay tax and the onus is on them to register with SARS as taxpayers. However, they may apply for approval as Tax Exempt Institution if and only if they can meet the requirements.

Does It Take Long To Register For NPO?

It may take a while before the registration is finalized. It may take up to two months, according to reports but once the registration is finalized, an email is sent to the company immediately.

What Is The Importance Of Having An NPO Certificate?

  • It affords your organization the bragging rights to be called and known as a legal entity
  • Once the organization has a certificate, it becomes more credible which makes it easier for people to fund it wholeheartedly
  • With a certificate, the organization can now open a bank account with the name of the organization
  • It makes it easier for the organization to access tax incentives

Does NPO Certificate Expire?

Yes, it does and it is subjected to an annual renewal per the terms of the established procedures.

NPO Directorate Contact

  • Tel: 012 312 7500
  • Email: Npoenquiry@dsd.gov.za
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