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Registration of Societies

Updated: Mar 26, 2022

Definition of a society

A society is considered under the (Malaysian) Societies Act 1966, and comes under the purview of The Registrar of Societies (Malaysia). The Registration of Societies Department is primarily concerned with the registration, control and supervision as well as the maintenance of records pertaining to registered societies and its branches throughout Malaysia so that they do not adversely affect security, peace, public order, good order, welfare or morality in Malaysia. Under Section 2 of the Societies Act 1966, a society means any club, company, partnership or association which consists of seven (7) or more persons organized and established in Malaysia or having its headquarters in Malaysia, whatever its nature or object, whether temporary or permanent.

Categories of societies

- Religious

- Human Rights

- Security

- Welfare / Charities

- Social

- Recreational

- Mutual Benefit

- Cultural and Art

- Business

Exclusions are:

  • any company registered under the provisions of any written law;

  • any company or association constituted under any written law;

  • any trade union registered or required to be registered under any written law;

  • any company, association or partnership formed for the sole purpose of carrying on any lawful business that has as its object, the acquisition of gain;

  • any cooperative society registered under any written law;

  • any organisation or association established under any written law relating to the registration of schools, that such organisation or association forms part of the curriculum of a school;

  • any school, management committee of a school, parents' association or parent-teachers' association registered or exempted from registration under any law.

Use of the name of the association in English

Organizations applying for registration must use their names in Bahasa Malaysia. However, the name in other languages ​​can also be used as a side (in parentheses) or under the name in Bahasa Malaysia.

Who can be a member of the organization

All citizens have the right to form associations.

For ordinary establishments, all Malaysian citizens aged 18 years and above.

For mutual benefit organizations, all Malaysian citizens aged 16 to 60 years.

Non-citizens can become members of the organization (depending on the conditions of membership contained in the Constitution of the Organization).

Permanent residents (PR) are only allowed to be members of welfare category organizations only. However, the other membership requirements for an organization are different according to the constitution of the organization itself.

Foreigners as office bearers

Person who is not a citizen but has expertise can hold a position in an organization for certain categories.

Applicants shall apply for approval from the Registrar for such cases with a copy of their travel documents (front page) & Immigration clearance details. Approval shall be under the sole discretion of the Registrar.

For ordinary establishments, it is subject to the constitution of the establishment. However, it needs to get permission from the Registrar of Societies first.

For new organizations established by foreign residents (expatriates) only, they are allowed to hold positions in the organization such as the Korean Citizens 'Organization and the Japanese Citizens' Organization.

For a charity association, permanent residents (PR) can only be a member only.

Registered address (correspondence / postal address) and place of business of the establishment

Registered address (correspondence/postal address) Address for the purpose of the establishment's correspondence. It should be accessible by postal service.

Place of business of the organization means the location of the organization to carry out activities such as meetings, discussions, document storage or other similar activities.

Financial limits of establishment

The financial limits (expenses) of the establishment are as provided in the constitution of the respective establishments.

The Societies Act 1966 only requires establishments to state the source of a establishment's financial resources, fee rates, limits/expenditure/holding powers only.

Setting up a branch of foreign organization (parent) in Malaysia

Any organization abroad wishing to move within Malaysia must be registered as a Parent Organization before establishing any branch in Malaysia.

Organizations can be registered in Malaysia provided that the organization must comply with the Societies Act 1966 or related regulations.

Organizations can also use the same objectives and name as organizations that are abroad.

However, applications will be processed in accordance with current policies and procedures of the Malaysian government (as well as in compliance with the Societies Act 1966).

Setting up a branch of an organization

The Secretary General shall submit an application (permission to establish a branch) through the eROSES system. Within 3 months from the date of payment, the branch shall convene a meeting to establish the branch and appoint committee members in accordance with the constitution of the organization. All information must be resubmitted to the Secretary General to be updated in the eROSES system for approval.

Duties of officers of the organization

1. Chairman /President

- To chair all meetings

- Responsible for the perfection of travel for meeting

- Sign meeting reminders

2. Deputy Chairman/Vice President

- Assist the Chairman/President and act in his absence

3. Secretary

- Implement the administration of the Organization in accordance with the Constitution of the Organization and the Act

-Manage the documentation of the organization

- Keep minutes of meetings in an orderly manner

- Send the Annual Statement within 60 days from the date of the General Meeting to JPPM

4. Treasurer

- Responsible for all financial matters of the Organization

- Create and keep accounts of the Organization

Financial management

The Financial Management of the Organization needs to be managed effectively by the Treasurer as it involves financial transactions.

These documents must be kept completely and securely at the place of business of the Organization.

Each Organization must have the following books or financial documents:-

1. Fees Book

2. Cash Book

3. General Ledger

4. Official Receipt

5. Payment Voucher Files including Bills

6. Monthly and annual Statement of Accounts

7. Checkbook and Bank Statement

Organization's records

Generally the Three (3) Holders of the Main Committee (Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer) are responsible for the records of the organization and they should be kept at the place of business of the organization, however the Ordinary Committee Members should be responsible for the records under their respective jurisdiction.

Each registered organization must prepare, store and maintain the records of the organization in accordance with the provisions of its constitution in a neat, orderly and accessible, namely:

  1. Constitution of the Organization;

  2. Certificate of Registration Approval;

  3. Member Register Book;

  4. Member fees book;

  5. Cash book / journal / general ledger / subsidiary ledger;

  6. Receipt book / payment voucher;

  7. Bank account statement;

  8. Minutes of Committee meetings and AGM / EGM;

  9. Letters received / sent;

  10. Annual statement report (eROSES); and

  11. Other documents related to the organization

Disclosure and accountability

Must strictly adhere to the requirements of the constitution and Societies Act 1996.

- Annual General Meetings (AGM)

-Disclosure of accounts to all members

- Book keeping

- Annual Returns must be submitted according to the deadline

Office Bearers are accountable to its members as they were chosen by them. Disclosure and management of accounts are of the utmost importance.

Receiving of funds must be in the societies name not individual. Funds received from internal and external sources must be properly recorded / reported and receipts issued to the donors.

Annual return

Annual Return is an annual report that needs to be submitted to JPPM every year, under Section 14(1), Societies Act 1966.

The submission of Annual Return is as set forth in section 14(1) of the Societies Act 1966 where each registered organization must, within sixty days after holding its annual general meeting or if no major meeting is held within sixty days after the end of each calendar year needs to submit PT.

Annual Returns need to be submitted online through the eROSES system by Setiausaha Perbadanan by every organization as the account owner.

Meetings via video conferencing

Organizations may conduct meetings via video conferencing provided they comply with the provisions of the organization's constitution. All documents such as meeting call memo, attendance list, agenda and minutes of the meeting as well as meeting records must be provided physically (hard copy) and certified.

How to set up a society

The Registrar of Society stipulates that to set up a society, the following is required:

  • An inaugural meeting needs to be held on the formation of a society which is attended by not less than 7 persons and their names recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

  • The formative meeting must pass the following resolutions:

    • agree on the formation of the society.

    • approve the name of the society. Section 14(1)(c)

    • approve the place of business (address) to be registered.

    • appoint Members of the Protem Committee for handling the registration of the society.

    • approve the constitution and rules of the society to be registered.

    • record the proceedings of the inaugural meeting (minutes of the meeting) of the society as well as the resolutions as enunciated above.

Applications for registration can be done on line on the e-ROSES system at and the organization that wants to be registered must be registered under the provisions of the Societies Act 1966 or related regulations.

All applications must be made under section 6(1) of the Act accompanied with the following particulars:

  • A list of Protem Committee Members.

  • The constitution and rules of the society.

  • Any flag, symbol, emblem, badge or other insignia together with its explanation. Section 50

  • The minutes of the meeting containing the above mentioned resolutions.

  • Letter of consent for making use of the address or the place of business, where applicable (in cases where the society does not own the premise).

Register users

  1. Go to the URL

  2. Click on the New User link .

  3. Enter all the required information and click REGISTER .

  4. Account activation email will be sent automatically to the email address that has been registered in the system.

  5. Click on the Activation Link that was sent by email and follow the instructions given.

How long the approval process for new application is

Applicants will receive the results of their application within 5 working days for a complete application and does not have any suspicious issues / matters (after switching to payment status has been received)

Getting a certificate / document that has been certified by JPPM for opening an association's bank account

Copies of association certificates / documents can be obtained by searching at any of the nearest JPPM counters. The search is limited to the required documents such as the Certificate of Registration, the list of Committees and the Constitution of the Organization.

Each document will be charged in accordance with regulation 16, Societies Regulations 1984 as follows:

Certificate of Registration - RM10.00; Committee List - RM2.00 for each page; and Constitution of the Society - RM2.00 for each page.

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