What is an NPO?

A trust or nonprofit company or voluntary association:-
• established for a public purpose, and
• the income and property of which are not distributable to its members or office bearers except as reasonable compensation for services offered.

Where do you register for an NPO?

At the National Department of Social Development in Pretoria.

Physical Address Postal Address

HSRC Building
134 Pretorius Street
Pretoria 0001
Tel No: 012 312 7500

NPO Directorate
Department Of Social Development
Private Bag X901

How do you register an NPO?
Submit the following documents to apply for NPO registration:

Type of organisational structure Documents to submit

Voluntary Associations:

· NPO Application form and
· Two (2) copies of constitution


· NPO application form
· Deeds of Trust (two copies)
· Letter of authority

Nonprofit Company:

· Certificate of incorporation issued by the commissioner (CoR14.3)
· Memorandum of Incorporation (CoR15.1C)
· Certificate of registration of Directors.

Where do you find forms to register?

• At the National Department of Social Development in Pretoria,
• Application forms can be downloaded at
• And at your local offices of the Department of Social Development in all nine provinces,

How much does it cost to register an NPO?

Registration for NPO is voluntary and free of charge.

How long does it take to register an NPO?

Two (2) months.

What happens once registered as an NPO? 

A registered NPO must reflect its registered status and registration number on all its documents, particularly on its letter-head.

What are the responsibilities of NPOs once registered?

All registered NPOs must keep the following documents safe:
• Certificate of registration
• Certified copy of constitution/founding documents
• Accounting records of its income, expenditure, assets and liabilities.
• Annual Reports ( Narrative and Financial Statements)
How to maintain an NPO registration status?
Send annual reports to the NPO Directorate. The annual report consists of:-
• Narrative report (in a prescribed format) and
• Financial report (income and expenditure; balance sheet; accounting officer’s report)

When do you send reports?

Every year after the end of the financial year of the organisation.

If there are any changes in the organisation

The organisation must inform the NPO Directorate of any changes in the organisation. These can be changes in the following:

  • Changes to the constitution ( must submit two copies of the new constitution together with minutes of the meeting at which changes were agreed to and signed by all members present)
  • Changes in contact details (new postal or physical address)
  • Changes in the governing body or members (particulars of the new member/s, that is name, ID, address and new position in the organisation together with minutes of the meeting signed by previous members)

The organisation must inform the National Department of Social Development within 30 days and submit supporting documents.


An NPO will
• be de-registered/cancelled and will lose  its registration status
• receive a notice of deregistration/cancellation

The Department will
• inform the public, funders and other government departments

NPO Offences

It is an offence to:
• make material false representation in annual narrative and financial reports
• use NPO number when deregistered/cancelled
• represent an organisation as being registered when it is not


An NPO may appeal against:
• Refusal to register
• Deregistration/cancellation

How do NPO’s Appeal?

• Submit an appeal letter with reasons to the National Department of Social Development within 30 days of receiving a notice.

PLEASE NOTE: A NPO that has been cancelled/deregistered cannot re-register but must appeal for reinstatement.