It’s the Holiday Season; it is a time of reflection, visiting friends and loved ones, meeting old friends and colleagues, sharing thoughts, giving to friends and family, giving back to society, and impacting lives. Sometimes, we desire to formalise this gathering, meeting, giving back, giving it a structure, and making it go beyond this season, then thoughts of a foundation, NGO, club, etc. sets in.

Here is a guide to setting up your NGO, Club, Foundation, Society,

  1. OUTLINE YOUR PURPOSE OR MOTIVATION. NGOs are generally set up to advance religious, educational, literary, scientific, social/cultural development, and sporting and charitable causes.

Identify and outline your primary purpose and motivation.

  1. DRAFT OUT A LIST OF NAMES: Draft a list of names that align with or reflect your purpose, e.g. Tolulope Oguntade Foundation, Advocacy for Better Governance, Resistance Against Domestic Violence, Sokoto Youths for Better Education etc.

The names must be unambiguous, not identical or nearly resembles any NGO already registered, must not be undesirable, offensive or otherwise contrary to public policy, or must be capable of undermining public peace and national security.

  1. PEN DOWN THE TRUSTEE(S). A Trustee acts as a guardian for the NGO who protects and maintains the core values and purposes of the NGO. As a collective body, the trustees hold the authority and responsibility to ensure the fulfilment of an NGO’s mission. A person qualified to be appointed a Trustee must not be under 18 years of age, unsound mind; undischarged bankrupt; or convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty within five years of his proposed appointment.

When choosing a Trustee, consider their views, opinion and what they stand for, and make sure it aligns with your purpose and objective of setting up the NGO in the first place.

  1. ENGAGE AN ACCREDITED SOLICITOR: Registering an NGO at the Corporate Affairs Commission requires expertise and know-how; the Solicitor or Firm will help in:

a. The Consent of the RG is required by law to register an NGO; the request form requires three (3) Name Options, Aims, and Objectives of the NGO, Tenure of Trustees, Personal Details of Trustees, Head Office of the Organization, etc

b. As required by law, The Solicitor will publish details of the NGO in two widely spread newspapers; if there is any opposition to the registration, that should be addressed to the Registrar General.

c. The Constitution of the NGO will also be drafted by the Solicitor, which sets outs the internal affairs of the NGO

d. The Minutes of the first meeting will be drafted by the Solicitor, detailing the members present, the appointment of the Trustees, the mode of appointment, adoption of the Special Clause

e. The Solicitor shall also present to each Trustee a Declaration Form to fill, affix passport, and sign declaring that he/she is not an infant, not of unsound mind, has not been declared bankrupt etc. the declaration must be made before a Commissioner of Oaths or a Notary Public.

  1. SETTING OUT: Once the NGO is registered, it becomes a legal entity, having a life, can acquire assets, sue and be sued, and Bank Accounts can be opened in the name of the NGO. Formal meetings can be called for to discuss the Aims and Objectives of the NGO, and you can call for Donations and Pledges both from members are the public.


NGOs are not for profit-making. Hence, they are exempted from some taxes, including Company Income Tax and Education Tax; the donations received are primarily meant for the aims and objectives of the NGO.

For more information, guidance, and registration of NGOs, we are readily available to help.

Tolulope Oguntade 
Regville Associates