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How to start an NGO in Uganda

Page history last edited by Sarita Hartz Hendricksen 8 years, 10 months ago

 

Some of you have read my post: Why NOT to start an NGO in Uganda. But some of us are crazy and really want to help people. So here is a list to get you started. It will be much more complicated than this, so if you have trouble, you can email me at sarita@zionproject.org. Although, I recommend you get a lawyer :)


Guidelines for Registering an NGO in Uganda

____________ 

 

 

A. Introduction 

 

This brief note has been put together by the Uganda National NGO Forum as a response to 

several requests about this subject from many of our clientele, both inside and outside 

Uganda. 

 

The information contained in this brief is largely adapted from information available at the 

NGO Board at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Brief commentaries are provided in bold italics 

in some cases to provide practical information concerning the NGO Registration process.  

 

Appended to this brief is Form A which is a form the NGO Board provides to all Applicants 

interested to register NGOs in Uganda.   

 

 

B. Registration Guidelines 

 

There are 17 basic things you need to know about the NGO Registration process in Uganda 

as listed below:  

 

1. You need a letter of recommendation written by Local Council Chairman I (LC I). This 

must recommend the organization. On the same letter, the Chairman LC II, LC III and 

Resident District Commissioner (RDC) should each endorse their signatures and stamp. 

The organization can use the LC I from the area where it has its Headquarters. 

 

Getting this recommendation is usually easy and straight forward. In some cases (not 

always) you may need to pay a very modest administrative fee to LC I and LC II 

 

2. The Organization should have written recommendation of two sureties or 

recommenders who should each write separately recommending the organization. 

Technical areas of activities need recommendation from the concerned line 

Ministry/Department. 

 

The word surety here is used, not in the legal sense or guarantor but more like a 

recommender. Such a person should be knowledgeable in the areas of operations or 

activities and be of integrity. 

 

3. The Organization should have a work plan or its activities to be carried out for the first 

year of the term of operation. The activities or work plan for the one year should have 

 

 Adapted from the official guidelines note provided by the NGO Board in the Ministry of Internal Affairs 

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Page 2 of 5 

budget i.e. how much is to be spent on each of those activities (this is tentative budget). 

The budget should reflect the work plan. 

 

4. The organization should have two copies of the constitution or by By-Laws or Rules and 

should have a provision in it specifying the purposes for which the funds are to be 

utilized. 

 

5. The NGO should have an Organizational Chart/Administrative chart showing its 

leadership. 

 

6. Every indigenous NGO is to pay 15,000/= registration fee and not more than that. 

 

7. Every organization is to fill Form A which should be duly completed and signed by at 

least two promoters. The names of the promoters should be printed in front of their 

signatures on the form. Promoters are the owners of the organization. 

 

8. The Organization should bring all its papers/application on a Spring Manila File Cover. 

 

9. On the cover of file, please print in Capital Letters the names of the organization and 

the address/Box number in case we want to get in touch with you. 

 

It is advisable to leave a telephone contact as well. 

 

10. The organization should write a letter to the Secretary NGO Board specifying the area of 

their operation. This is what will be printed on the permit once granted.  

 

This is a contentious issue as if you have to carry out activities in areas other than that 

stated on your permit, you are expected to get permission from the NGO Board. It may 

be advisable to use words such as nationwide or state a broad range of places you 

hope to work in. 

 

11. Every organization should reserve its name with the Registrar General’s Office at the 

Ministry of Justice. This is done to make sure that no other organization will use your 

names or the name of the organization is free to be used by you. In case of subsequent 

change of names, a reservation must be done again. 

 

This usually takes less than a month, but the applicant may need to keep a close follow 

up with a contact person at the Registrar of Companies.  

 

12. If the organization has a Foreigner working with it or the Foreigner is coming to join them, 

the organization should read section 13 of Non-Governmental Act 2006 (amended) and 

Regulations. 

 

13. A Foreigner coming to assist the organization by staying with it should bring his/her:- 

a) Photocopies of his/her qualification papers 

b) Present Immigration Status in the Country 

c) A letter from his/her home Government that the subject has no criminal record 

i.e. he/she is of good conduct 

d) A letter appointing the subject to the position he/she is going to occupy. 

 

14. All organizations seeking Entry Permits/Visas for foreigners on behalf of the NGO should 

get endorsement/recommendations from the NGO Board. This is to make sure that the 

_______ 

 

Page 3 of 5 

Board/Secretariat is aware of such immigrants working with NGOs and the information of 

such immigrants is available on the NGOs File. 

 

15. The NGO Board sits once every month. Any registering NGO should expect its Certificate 

of Incorporation after a month of lodging its papers. 

 

This is not always the case and there is often an applications back log and it’s not a 

guarantee that an application for registration will be completed in a month. 

 

All Lawyers, consultants are advised to come with at least one of the officials of the 

organization being represented. 

 

The Secretariat will not welcome documents without their officials. Collection of 

Permits/Incorporation Certificates is by any official of the organization. Any other parties 

sent for that purpose should have authority letters from the organization. 

 

16. Every Constitution must have a dissolution clause. 

 

17. When an organization closes down (even temporarily) the NGO Board should be 

informed. 

 

 

Note: 

 

The fees mentioned herein are bound to change when it is deemed necessary by the 

Government. 

 

 

C. Further Support 

 

For further questions, inquiries or feedback, please contact the NGO Forum using the 

address below: 

___________________ 

Uganda National NGO Forum 

Plot 25, Muyenga Tank Hill Road, Kabalagala 

P.O. Box 4636, Kampala 

Telephones: +256 414 510272 or +256 312 260372 

Fax: +256 312 260273 

Email: info@ngoforum.or.ug or ngoforum@infocom.co.ug 

 

 

_______ 

 

Page 4 of 5 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA 

 

APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION 

 

 

 

To The Secretary 

National Board for Non-Governmental Organisations. 

 

 

We the undersigned officers hereby apply for registration under the Non Governmental 

Organisation Registration Statute. 

 

(a) Name of Non-Governmental Organisation / Country of Origin 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………… 

 

(b) Name of each Organisation or Group established outside or inside Uganda if any, of 

which the Non- Governmental Organisation is a branch, or is affiliated to or connected 

with 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………… 

 

(c) Objects of Non- Governmental Organisation 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

…………………………………………….... 

 

(d) Class or Classes of Persons to whom membership of  Non-Governmental is open 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………… 

 

_______ 

 

Page 5 of 5 

(e) Present Number of Members 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………… 

 

(f) Titles of Officers of Organisation 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………… 

(g) Names, Occupations and Addresses of the present or proposed officers 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

…………………………………………………………………….... 

 

(h) Sponsors or Sources of Funding 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………… 

 

(i) Property (if any) owned by Non-Governmental Organisation and manner in which such 

property is held or vested 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………… 

 

(j) Bankers of the Organisation 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………… 

 

(k) Any Privileges, Immunities/Exemptions requested by the Organisation from Government. 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………………………………………………… 

……………………………………………………… 

 

 

Signatures of Promoters: ………………………………………. 

         ……………………………………….. 

……………………………………….. 

 

 

 

 

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