how to register your ngo in Zambia

So, you have this great idea to start an NGO in Zambia supporting a cause you’re so passionate about is an exciting thing and I’m happy for you and I’ll be here to see you thrive and possibly write about you ūüėČ. But you to deal with the administrative issues before you can get started with your amazing work. One of these issues is getting your NGO registered with the Department of Registrar for Non-governmental Organisations. In this article I’ll be showing you exactly how to register your NGO in Zambia.

This registration is mandatory for all Non- Governmental Organizations (NGO’s). The Law of Non-governmental Organizations Act No. 16 of 2009 requires all Non-Profits to be registered in accordance with the act.

Read about why you should register your NGO here.

Who is the registrar of non-governmental organisations?

The Department of Registrar of Non-governmental Organizations is a department in the Ministry of Community Development and Mother and Child Health. They are found at the ministry headquarters in Lusaka and the District Community Health Office in provincial capitals.

Step 1: Reserve the NGO name

The first step is name reservation. This is where you clear your NGO names to ensure no one else is already using the names and to prevent other people from using your NGO’s name in the future. This process can only help you reserve your name for 60 days, so you need to ensure you register your NGO within 60 days, otherwise, you will have to start the process from scratch.

You will be required to provide three proposed names for your NGO just in case your first name is taken. Make sure to write your names in their order of priority meaning your most preferred name should be on the top of the list, and your least preferred should be the last name on your list.

This process will cost you K84.

Step 2: Form a team

If you don’t already have a team, this is the step you should consider after you have reserved your name. Many people won’t tell you this, but this is the most important aspect of your NGO for registration and beyond. At this stage you will need a board of directors or administrators. These are called office bearers and you will see why these are very important later in the article. You need to have a minimum of five office bearers.¬†

Step 3: Prepare your constitution

After your name has been reserved, you must a prepare a document known as a constitution which will basically explain your organization, rules and regulations and the various structures involved with it. Your constitution must contain the following;

  • Name of your organization
  • Postal/Physical Address
  • Objectives/Aims
  • Office Bearers
  • Duties of Office Bearers
  • Terms of Office Bearers
  • Membership
  • Termination of membership
  • Discipline
  • Finance
  • Meetings
  • Elections
  • Amendments to constitution
  • Dissolution
  • Disposal of assets upon dissolution
You will need to submit two copies of the constitution, they must both be signed by office bearers. Download a sample version of a constitution on the button below. 

Step 4: Write an application letter  

You have to write an application letter addressed to the Office of the Registrar
indicating the objectives of the Organization.

Step 5: Get a recommendation letter from a line ministry

You have  to get a recommendation letter from a line ministry under which your non-profit organization will operate. So you need to visit the local ministry office in the town your NGO is based. 

Step 6: Submission of applications

After you have done all, it is now time to submit your applications to the Department of the Registrar of NGOs. 

  • Application letter
  • ¬†An application for registration form that will be given to you at the Department of the Registrar of NGOs. You must submit two of these.¬†
  • Two signed copied of your NGO’s constitution
  • You will have to submit your office bearers certified identification and phone numbers. Certified identification includes National Registration Cards, Passports or Driver’s Licenses for Zambian members and Immigration Permits for non-Zambians. Ensure you have submitted two copies of each.¬†
  • You will have to submit Fingerprint certificates of all bearers and members listed. All members must be scrutinized and cleared by Zambia Police. To do this, visit a Zambia Police Office and they will issue certification. It costs ZMW50.00 for each one.
  • Clearance letters from the Registrar of Societies, Patent and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) if the organization is registered under the societies act.¬†
  • ¬†Name reservation certificate (remember, it’s only valid for 60 days)¬†
  • Recommendation letter from line ministry
  • Proof of payment¬†
  • You will be required to pay an application fee of ZMW1,008.


Step 7: Certification

When your documents are approved, you will be given a certificate which has a registration number. The certificate is issued within three months of submission of all the required documents. You are advised to create a schedule which shows the deadlines.

And that’s it. I hope that from this small write up you now know what you need to do and how much you will need to register your NGO in Zambia.

I am wishing you all the best in your journey and I’m looking forward to seeing you do amazing things.¬†

11 thoughts on “How to register your NGO/Non-Profit in Zambia in 2022 [UPDATED]”
    1. Hello, we currently don’t have any openings for psychosocial counsellors. Please look out for an article soon on how to succeed as a pyschosocial counsellor in Zambia.

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