How To Start and Register an NGO in Uganda

The Non-Governmental Organizations Act of 2016 mandates the NGO Bureau to register and maintain an up-to-date record of all NGOs operating in Uganda. When setting up a new NGO, obtaining a Certificate of Registration from The Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) and a Permit of Operation is mandatory before commencing operations.

The Certificate of Registration will be issued only once, while the Permit of Operation is granted for one (1) to five (5) years per the organization’s requirement. Uganda’s NGOs are registered under five categories: Indigenous, Regional, Continental, Foreign, and International.

The following is a description of How to Start and Register your Indigenous NGO, Regional NGO, Continental NGO, Foreign NGO, And International NGO in Uganda:

How to Register an NGO or Nonprofit Organization with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)

To establish an NGO in Uganda, you must first register it as a company limited by guarantee with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB). To begin the registration process, you will need to reserve your company’s name. You can visit https://ursb.go.ug/name-reservation/, fill in the online form, and submit it for approval.

Once your company name is approved, you can download the required company forms from the URSB website: https://ursb.go.ug/business-registrationforms/. These forms include Form 20 for Appointing Directors and Secretaries, Form 18 for the company’s address, and Memorandum & Articles of Association. Additionally, you must attach a copy of a valid ID and a photograph of your passport for each subscriber.

After you have filled out the forms, you can scan them and submit them along with proof of payment by clicking on this link: https://ursb.go.ug/registrations/.

It Is Mandatory to Obtain a Certified Copy of The Certificate of Incorporation Before Proceeding With Registration At The National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations.

If you need help, consider hiring a consultant to help you perform a self-assessment and make payments for your Company Limited by Guarantee. All these fees are paid by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA)

Learn More About How to Get a Company Registration Consultant

Requirements To Register and Obtain a Permit to Operate as An Indigenous NGO in Uganda

An Indigenous NGO is a non-governmental organization owned and operated by Ugandan citizens. To be recognized as an Indigenous NGO, the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) must have incorporated the organization before registering with the NGO Bureau.

To register your Indigenous NGO with the National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations, you will need to fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Fill out Form A and D and ensure that both are signed by at least two founder members.
  2. Write a letter addressed to the Executive Director of the NGO Bureau, requesting registration and a permit to operate. In your note, include your organization’s objectives, area of operation, and the number of years you are applying for (maximum of 5).
  3. Provide a certified or notarized copy of the Certificate of Incorporation issued by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).
  4. Submit an annual work plan and budget for the years you have applied for the Permit.
  5. Provide a copy of the registered Memorandum and Articles of Association, constitution, or governing documents. Ensure that the dissolution clause specifies the quorum to pass a resolution for winding up and how organization assets will be handled upon winding up.
  6. A chart showing your organization’s governance structure is required.
  7. Proof of payment of the prescribed fees for the Certificate of Registration and the Permit of Operation is mandatory.
  8. A statement indicating the funding source for your organization’s activities is required.
  9. Copies of valid identification documents (National ID or Passport) and passport-size photographs of at least two founder members must be submitted.
  10. A copy of minutes, signed attendance list, and resolution registered with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau authorizing the organization to register with the NGO Bureau is required.
  11. Your organization must comply with Section 45 of the NGO Act, 2016, concerning staffing.
  12. A recommendation from the District Non-Governmental Organizations Monitoring Committee (DNMC), where the organization’s headquarters is located, is mandatory.
  13. A recommendation from the responsible Ministry or Ministries or a Government Department or Agency is required.
  14. New NGOs must submit a copy of the certificate from the Data Protection Office within one month of picking up their operation permits.

How Much Does It Cost to Register an Indigenous NGO in Uganda?

The fee for a Certificate of Registration for an Indigenous NGO is UGX 100,000, while the fee for an NGO Permit of Operation for an Indigenous Organization is UGX 60,000 per year.

Requirements To Register and Obtain a Permit to Operate as a Regional NGO in Uganda

A Regional Organization refers to a group incorporated in one or more partner states of the East African Community and is partially or entirely controlled by citizens of those states. Such an organization operates in Uganda under the authority of a Permit issued by the NGO Bureau.

To register a Regional NGO, you will need to fill out either Form A (for organizations incorporated in Uganda) or Form N (for organizations incorporated outside Uganda but within the East African Community Partner States), as well as Form D. All forms must be signed by at least two Founder members.

Additionally, you will need to provide the following:

  1. A letter requesting registration and a permit to operate addressed to the Executive Director, NGO Bureau, including objectives, area of operation, and the number of years applied for, at most five (5).
  2. A certified or notarized copy of the Certificate of Incorporation from the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) or an equivalent from the country of Incorporation.
  3. An annual work plan and budget for the number of years applied for the Permit.
  4. A copy of the registered Memorandum and Articles of Association, organization’s constitution, or governing documents, including a dissolution clause specifying the quorum to pass a resolution for winding up and how organization assets will be handled upon winding up.
  5. A chart showing the governance structure of the organization.
  6. Proof of payment of the prescribed fees for the Certificate of Registration and the Permit of Operation.
  7. A statement indicating the source of funding for the organization’s activities.
  8. Copies of valid identification documents (National ID or Passport) and passport-size photographs of at least two founder members.
  9. A copy of minutes, signed attendance list, and resolution registered with Uganda Registration Services Bureau authorizing the organization to register with the NGO Bureau.
  10. A statement complying with Section 45 of the NGO Act, 2016 (about staffing of the organization).
  11. A recommendation from the District Non-Governmental Organizations Monitoring Committee (DNMC), where the organization’s headquarters is located.
  12. A recommendation from the responsible Ministry or Ministries or a Government Department or Agency.

New NGOs are given one month after they pick up their permits to submit a copy of the certificate from the Data Protection Office.

How Much Does It Cost to Register a Regional NGO in Uganda?

The fee for a Certificate of Registration for a Regional NGO is UGX 100,000, while the fee for an NGO Permit of Operation for a Regional Non-Governmental Organization is UGX 60,000 per year.

Requirements To Register and Obtain a Permit to Operate as a Continental NGO in Uganda

A Continental NGO is an organization that is incorporated in any African country outside the East African Community and is either partially or wholly controlled by citizens of one or more African countries, excluding the partner states of the East African Community.

To register and obtain a permit of operation for a continental NGO, you need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Fill out either Form A (for organizations incorporated in Uganda) or Form N (for organizations incorporated outside the East African Community Partner States but within Africa), as well as Form D. Both forms must be signed by at least two founder members.
  2. Write a letter addressed to the Executive Director of the NGO Bureau, requesting registration and a permit to operate. The note should state your organization’s objectives, area of operation, and the number of years you are applying for (not exceeding 5).
  3. Provide a certified or notarized copy of your Certificate of Incorporation from the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) or its equivalent from your country of Incorporation.
  4. Submit an annual work plan and budget for the years you are applying for the Permit.
  5. Provide a certificate of good conduct for each signatory to the resolution or at least two board members of your organization.
  6. Include the curriculum vitae of at least two board members of your organization.
  7. Provide a certified copy of your organization’s Constitution, Charter, Memorandum Articles of Association, or any other documents governing your organization. The dissolution clause should specify, among other things, a quorum to pass a resolution for winding up and how organization assets shall be handled upon winding up.
  8. Provide a chart showing the governance structure of your organization.
  9. Provide proof of payment of the prescribed fees for the Certificate of Registration and Permit of Operation.
  10. Include a statement indicating the funding source for your organization’s activities.
  11. Provide copies of valid identification documents (National ID or Passport) and passport-size photographs of at least two founder members.
  12. Provide a copy of minutes, signed attendance list, and resolution registered with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau authorizing the organization to register with the NGO Bureau.
  13. Include a statement complying with Section 45 of the NGO Act, 2016 (about staffing of the organization).
  14. Provide a recommendation from the District Non-Governmental Organizations Monitoring Committee (DNMC) where your organization’s headquarters is located.
  15. Provide a recommendation from the line Ministry or Ministries or Government department or Agency.
  16. Provide a recommendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uganda.
  17. Provide a recommendation from the Government or Mission accredited to Uganda.

New NGOs have one month from the date they pick up their operation permits to submit a copy of the certificate from the Data Protection Office.

How Much Does It Cost to Register a Continental NGO in Uganda?

Fees for a Certificate of Registration for a Continental Organization is UGX 260,000. Annual fees for an NGO Permit of Operation for a Continental Organization are UGX 400,000.

Requirements To Register and Obtain a Permit to Operate as a Foreign NGO in Uganda

A Foreign NGO is an organization that operates in Uganda under the authority of a permit issued by the NGO Bureau and is partially or wholly controlled by citizens of other countries who are not citizens of the Partner States of the East African Community. This organization has not been initially incorporated in any nation.

To register and obtain an operation permit for a foreign NGO, you need to fulfill specific requirements. These requirements include submitting the following documents:

– Form A and Form D, both signed by at least two founder members

– A letter was addressed to the executive director of the NGO Bureau requesting registration and a permit to operate. This letter should include the objectives, area of operation, and the number of years applied (a maximum of five).

– A certified or notarized copy of the Certificate of Incorporation from the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).

– Annual work plan and budget for the number of years applied for the Permit

– A copy of the registered Memorandum and Articles of Association, the organization’s constitution, or governing documents, which must include a dissolution clause specifying the quorum to pass a resolution for winding up and how the organization’s assets shall be handled upon winding up

– A chart showing the governance structure of the organization

– Proof of payment of the prescribed fees for the Certificate of Registration and the Permit of Operation

– A statement indicating the source of funding for the activities of the organization

– Copies of valid identification documents (National ID or Passport) and passport-size photographs of at least two founder members.

– A copy of minutes signed attendance list, and resolution registered with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau authorizing the organization to register with the NGO Bureau

– A statement complying with Section 45 of the NGO Act, 2016 (about staffing of the organization)

– A recommendation from the District Non-Governmental Organizations Monitoring Committee (DNMC), where the organization’s headquarters is located.

– A recommendation from the responsible Ministry or Ministries or a Government Department or Agency.

New NGOs have one month from the date they pick up their operation permits to submit a copy of the certificate from the Data Protection Office.

How Much Does It Cost to Register a Foreign NGO in Uganda?

The fee for a Certificate of Registration of a Foreign Organization in Uganda is 520,000 UGX. An NGO Permit for Operation for a Regional Organization costs 400,000 UGX per year.

Requirements To Register and Obtain a Permit to Operate as an International NGO in Uganda

An International Organization is an organization that is initially incorporated in a country other than the partner States of the East African Community. The organization is partially or wholly controlled by citizens of one or more countries other than the citizens of the partner States of the East African Community. An International Organization operates in Uganda under the authority of a permit issued by the NGO Bureau.

The Following Are the Requirements for Registering and Obtaining an Operation Permit for An International NGO:

  1. Fill out Form A (for organizations incorporated in Uganda) or Form N (for organizations incorporated outside Africa) and Form D. These forms must be signed by at least two founder members.
  2. Write a letter requesting registration and a permit to operate, addressed to the Executive Director of the NGO Bureau. The letter should indicate the objectives, area of operation, and number of years applied for, not exceeding five (5).
  3. Provide a certified or notarized copy of the Certificate of Incorporation from the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) or the equivalent from the country of Incorporation.
  4. Submit an annual work plan and budget for the years applied for the Permit.
  5. Provide a certificate of good conduct for each signatory to the resolution or at least two board members of the organization.
  6. Submit the curriculum vitae of at least two board members of the organization.
  7. Provide a certified copy of the organization’s Constitution, Charter, Memorandum, Articles of Association, or any other documents governing the organization. The dissolution clause should specify, among other things, the quorum to pass a resolution for winding up and how the organization’s assets shall be handled upon winding up.
  8. Submit a chart showing the governance structure of the organization.
  9. Pay the prescribed fees for the Certificate of Registration and Permit of Operation and provide proof of payment.
  10. Provide a statement indicating the funding source for the organization’s activities.
  11. Submit copies of valid identification documents (National ID or Passport) and passport-size photographs of at least two founder members.
  12. Submit a copy of minutes, a signed attendance list, and a resolution registered with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau authorizing the organization to register with the NGO Bureau.
  13. Provide a statement complying with Section 45 of the NGO Act, 2016 (about staffing of the organization).
  14. Obtain a recommendation from the District Non-Governmental Organizations Monitoring Committee (DNMC), where the organization’s headquarters is located.
  15. Obtain a recommendation from the line Ministry, Ministries, Government department, or Agency.
  16. Obtain a recommendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uganda.
  17. Obtain a recommendation from the Government or Mission accredited to Uganda.

New NGOs have one month from the date they pick their operation permits to submit a copy of the certificate from the Data Protection Office.

How Much Does It Cost to Register an International NGO in Uganda?

Fees for an International Organization Certificate of Registration is 800,000 UGX. The NGO Permit of Operation fee for an International Organization is 400,000 UGX annually.

About the Author: Robert Mwesige

Robert Mwesige is a Certified Trainer of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and a Certified Financial Literacy Trainer of the Bank of Uganda (BOU). Robert is also a Certified Digital Marketing Expert by Google, the HubSpot Academy, Accenture, and OpenClassrooms.

Robert Received an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) at Quantic School of Business and Technology in Washington DC USA. He Graduated with an MBA in Marketing at the 14th Convocation of Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune India in August 2023. He also holds a First Class Honors Degree in International Development Studies From KYU, Kampala. 

He is the Senior Manager of HR & Business Services. He is also a Content Designer (Web Editor), and Online Marketing Expert. Robert Has Previously Participated in High-Level Consulting Assignments Including, Strategy Development, Executive Coaching and Training. He is a Writer of Knowledge and Insight Articles in The Field of Human Resources, Financial Literacy, and Business Management at Houston Executive Consulting.

He Spends His Free Time Enjoying Live Band with Ugandan Afro Beat Songs, Gospel Music, South African Oldies, Congolese Soukous & Ballroom Rumba.

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About the Author: Robert Mwesige

Robert Mwesige is a Certified Trainer of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and a Certified Financial Literacy Trainer of the Bank of Uganda (BOU). Robert is also a Certified Digital Marketing Expert by Google, the HubSpot Academy, Accenture, and OpenClassrooms.

Robert Received an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) at Quantic School of Business and Technology in Washington DC USA. He Graduated with an MBA in Marketing at the 14th Convocation of Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune India in August 2023. He also holds a First Class Honors Degree in International Development Studies From KYU, Kampala. 

He is the Senior Manager of HR & Business Services. He is also a Content Designer (Web Editor), and Online Marketing Expert. Robert Has Previously Participated in High-Level Consulting Assignments Including, Strategy Development, Executive Coaching and Training. He is a Writer of Knowledge and Insight Articles in The Field of Human Resources, Financial Literacy, and Business Management at Houston Executive Consulting.

He Spends His Free Time Enjoying Live Band with Ugandan Afro Beat Songs, Gospel Music, South African Oldies, Congolese Soukous & Ballroom Rumba.