What is a Trust ? How a trust is registered ?

A trust can be understood as an entity which is created when a person (the settler) gives their property to another person called the trustee to hold for the benefit of a third person or general public called the benefactors. It is a form of Non-Governmental Organization which is registered under the Indian Trust Act of 1882 if the states fail to comply with their own trust acts.
For registration of Trust, it might take a time span of around 15-20 days from the date of filing and submission of the application along with other details. To register a trust, a minimum of three members would be required. If you want to register the Trust in the Delhi area, there should be one member from the Delhi area who would be asked to supply their Aadhar Card details with one address proof. The address proof can be anything like the electrical power bill or water bill generated by the Delhi Jal Board or any other authorized governmental Id card. The other two members may not be Delhi and can hail from any part of the country.
At the time of the Registration of Trust, there would be a requirement of 2 Photos and the address proofs of all the members would be required. Further, 2 members would also be required as witnesses at the time of Trust Registration. These people should be from Delhi in case of registration at Delhi and should have in possession the Aadhar Card. While it can be registered at one place, it can also function throughout the country. In a trust, the members of the family can also act like a member Or Trustee. A trustee is not supposed to use the trust as a proprietary business or gain revenue from its working. The trust document can make way for payment of some of the officials and then the fund can be used for payments as well. A trusteeship might see an end in the times of fatality of the trustee, resignation or unsound mind. If the member of the trust is found to be part in any anti-social activities, the trustee can be reprimanded. If the trustees have not attended the meeting for 3 consecutive times, the trusteeship can be ended in that cause. There is usually one member who functions as the Handling Trustee of the Trust in case of any voting to end trusteeship of a trustee in the cases mentioned above.
A trust is a liquid organization and it can allow the beneficiaries to choose a particular committee from among themselves towards running a certain branch of the trust and see through its activities. They have also been armed with privileges of forming guidelines and policies for the particular branch with guidelines from the trust.
The major ambitions of a charitable trust includes the social and cultural upliftment of the societies and particular those who are downtrodden and require a helping hand to stand and perform. The major goals and organization of the Trusts are as follows:
• The trusts are enshrined with the objective of enhancing the cultural, academic and social conditions of the people who cannot, therefore, afford for themselves. They also undertake the role of conducting multidisciplinary programs and getting works done for democracy, good governance, realization of human rights, worldwide peace, cooperation, and justice.
• They also work towards the eradication of the poverty and eradication of the beggar’s system in the country while assisting them to rehabilitate in good conditions by providing them shelter, money and job assistance. To cost-free kids who have been trafficked unlawfully into the dark world of begging.
• They also work towards making people aware about the eradication of corruption and to stay away from corrupt activities as well. They would therefore organize workshops and meetings to expose corrupt people in the society while also enlightening the youth and common people about the corrupt values.
• For doing such programs, the trusts help in educating the people about black money and its underlying problems in the country.

Difference between Society Registration and Trust Registration

There are various forms of Public Charitable organizations in the country and their registrations can be done in the form of Trusts and Societies. The Non Profit Organizations in our country can be classified under the following:

  1. As existing independently of the State with minimal or less interference
  2. As the body of self-governing through a board of trustees or managing committees or through governing councils comprising of individuals serving in the fiduciary capacity.
  3. Producing benefits or appraisals for others who are generally not the members of the organization
  4. In the capacity of Non-Profit making entities and prohibited from distributing a monetary benefit to their members.

About Society

As per section 20 of the Societies Registration Act, 1860, the following societies can be registered under the prevalence of the Act –

  • Charitable Societies or Military Orphan Funds.
  • Societies which are formed at various presidencies of the Country
  • Societies which are formed for Promotion of Science, Literature, fine arts, instruction of distribution of knowledge like Political education
  • Maintenance of public libraries or general reading rooms for members of the organization or may be open to public
  • Public museums and galleries of paintings
  • Works of Art, the collection of natural history
  • Mechanical and Philosophical Inventions, instruments or design

Legislation:  The societies get registered under the regulation of Societies Registration Act of 1860. This legislation has been taken from pre-independence federal jurisdiction and hence called a federal act applicable to the registration of societies. In some of the states who have a charity commissioner, the societies are registered under two prospective laws: The Societies Registration Act and the Bombay Public Trust. The major instrument of the societies happens to be their Memorandum of Association. To adjudge the rules and regulation binding on other parties, the societies do not require no stamp paper. There must be a clear understanding of aims and objectives and mode of management of these Societies so that members and other parties understand it clearly and fully.


A trustee can be understood as a person or firm who holds and administers property or assets for the benefit of the third party. Hence, they can be understood as people who take care of the management who take care of the daily proceedings of the society or trust. Therefore, society needs at least seven managing committee members called as Trustees to take care of the business but there is no upper limit for the management. They are the form of governing council or executive committee members.

Application for Registration

The registration of the societies can be done either at the state level in the office of the Registrar of Societies or at the district level in the office of the District Magistrate or the local office of the Registrar of societies.

However, the procedure of the registration of societies differs from state to state. But some documentation is similar at all the states. The trustees can submit the application for registration of the societies along with:

  1. Memorandum of Association as well as the Rules and Regulations
  2. Consent letters of all the members of the Managing Committees
  3. An Authority Letter which has been duly signed by all the Members of the Managing Committees
  4. An Affidavit which has been sworn by the President or Secretary of the Society on Non-Judicial stamp paper of Rs.20/- along with a court fee stamp
  5. A declaration by the Members of the Managing Committee saying that the funds of the society will be used only for the purpose of spending towards getting the objectives of the Society fulfilled.

All the documents mentioned above for the application for registration of society must be submitted in duplicate with the required registration charges at the state or district level office of the Registrar of Societies.

About Trust

A trust can be understood as an entity which is created when a person (the settler) gives their property to another person called the trustee to hold for the benefit of a third person or general public called the benefactors. In other words, a trust gets floated when there is an involvement of property in terms of land and building.

Legislation: Trust is a liquid organization and hence many states in India have different legislation in regards to registration of Trusts. If the states do not have a particular act for a Trust, the general principles of the Indian Trusts Act of 1882 are applied for registration and governance purposes. The major instrument of implementation of a Trust lies in the ‘Trust Deed’ which can be understood as a legal document covering the aims and objectives of the Particular trust. It can differ from the trust to trust and basically covers the will of the Settler. The settler also specifies the minimum and the maximum number of trustees in the Deed and however the numbers can be increased or decreased with the voting of Trustees. The Trust Deed must always be signed by both the Settlor Party and Trustee in the presence of two witnesses. The Trust Deed is always executed on non-judicial stamp paper, the value of which is directly proportional to the valuation of the Property.


A trust would generally require a minimum of three trustees while there is no such restriction on the upper limit of the number of Trustees. The trustees comprise the Board of Management and help the settlor run the Trust successfully.

Application for Registration

Application for registration of Trust is not much different to that of a Society. The application for registration of a Trust must be made to the officials who have the jurisdiction over the region where the trust is being registered. The Applicants must submit in details in the form regarding the designation of the Public Trust, Names of Trustees, Mode of Succession. They must also affix a court fee stamp of Rs.2/- to the form and pay the registration fee which ranges from Rs.3 to Rs. 25 depending on the value of the Trust Property.

The application form for the registration of a trust must be signed by the applicants before the regional office or Superintendent of the Regional office of the Charity Commissioner or a Notary. The application form must be submitted along with a copy of the Trust Deed. There would also be the requirement of two other documents at the time of registration: An Affidavit and a consent letter.