Societies in Kenya are registered under the Societies Act Cap 108. A society can either be registered or exempted from registration.
An exempted society is one whose procedure is the same as that of a registered society but differs in that it is not required to file in Annual Returns with the Registrar of Societies as is required of registered societies. Subject to the special provisions as to exemption from registration contained in Section 10 of this Act, the Registrar may by writing under his hand, exempt any specified society from all or any of the provisions of this Act or any rules subject to such conditions, if any, as he may think .t, and may at any time cancel any such exemption or amend any such condition.
NB: Exemption of a society is purely at the discretion of the Minister.
FUNCTIONS OF THE REGISTRAR OF SOCIETIES
To register societies under the Societies Act (Cap 108) e.g. political parties, churches, welfare associations, charitable societies, sports associations, private members clubs.
PROCEDURE OF REGISTRATION OF A SOCIETY UNDER SOCIETIES ACT CAP 108
The applicant collects the application forms from the societies counter free of charge. These forms are forms A, B and a specimen of the societies constitution. The said application shall be for registration or for exemption from registration under this Act. . The applicant submits duly filled forms and their society’s constitution in duplicate accompanied by a registration fee of Ksh.2,000
A file is opened and the application is entered in a counter register entering in the register the name of the society and date of submission. The application is considered by the Registrar within a statutory period of not more than 120 days. Upon registering a society or exempting it from registration, the Registrar shall issue to the society a certificate of registration or exemption in the prescribed form.
If an application does not comply with the societies rules, the registrar shall issue a Notification of Refusal. Upon refusal, applicants may appeal against the refusal within 21 days or such period as the Minister may allow in the case of a non-political society. An appeal for a political society lies with the High Court under the same Section 15 of this Act.
Every registered society shall furnish the Registrar annually, the Annual Returns of the previous year by latest 31st March by filing in the prescribed form I and at a prescribed fee based on the number of members.
A notice in the prescribed form II of any change of officers, or of the title of any office, of a registered society shall be given to the Registrar within 14 days of the change and the notice shall be signed by three of the officers of the society. Failure to file the said Annual Returns under Section 30 of the Societies Act by the registered society shall be an offence and the registrar has the power to deregister the society by issuing a notice of the intention to do so though form G(1). If the registered society does not show cause why it should not be deregistered within the specified period, the registrar shall cancel the registration though form G (2).
In the case of a registered society which wishes to amend its name, or its constitution or rules; or becomes a branch or affiliated to or connected with, any organization or group of a political nature established outside Kenya, or dissolve itself, the society must :-
- Obtain permission from the Registrar to do any of the said changes and must get the consent by putting an application in writing to the Registrar which must be signed by three of the officers of the society.
- The said application must be accompanied by a copy of the minutes of the meeting at which the resolution to make such change was passed, certified as a true copy by three of the officers of the society, and the application shall be delivered to the Registrar within 14 days after the day on which the resolution was passed. In the case of an exempted society which wants to amend its name or objects or becomes a branch of or affiliated to or connected with any organization or group of a political nature established outside Kenya or dissolves itself;
- Shall within 14 days from the date of effecting such amendment or other matter as aforesaid give to the Registrar notice there of in writing signed by three of the officers of the society. Every registered society shall, at least once in every year, hold a Annual General meeting to which all its members shall be invited, which meeting will be carried out as per the societies registered Constitution.
SCHEDULE OF FEES
1. Notification of change of postal address – Ksh.500
2. Notification of change of officials – Ksh.500
3. Annual Returns
- Where the membership does not exceed 25 members – Ksh.200
- Where the membership does not exceed 25 but does not exceed 100 – Ksh.300
- Where membership exceeds 100 but does not exceed 1000 – Ksh.400
- Where membership exceeds 1000 – Kshs.1000
4. Certified copy of a certificate – Ksh.200
5. Application for Amendment – Ksh.200
6. Application for Dissolution – Ksh.500
7. Application for confirmation letter of societies officials – Ksh.300
8. Search – Ksh.200
For more information, contact
Department of Registrar-General
Sheria House, 2nd Floor P.O.Box 30031 00100, Nairobi , Kenya . Tel: (254) 020 – 227461, ext 37180/37015 Fax: (254) 020 – 225515.
Tel: (254) 020 – 227461, Ext 37394
Head of Section……………Ext 37398
Hire Purchase……………….Ext 37392