How to Register an NGO in Bangladesh


What is a Non – Governmental organization (NGO)

A non-governmental organization is a legal entity that is not a direct part of a government, independent from government control, and not a direct competitor in politics. Generally, NGOs are established by a group of individuals to make a positive change in society. They collect funds from various donors around the world and try to serve their aim. NGOs can be of various kinds, such as zonal, national, international etc.

How Does it differ from other organizations?

Now modern organizations are very complex in stricture, for example, NGOs are collaborating with the government and under some bindings too. So thing blurs from time to time, generally, NGOs are considered non–profit, non–dependent on the government to fulfil their particular purpose but they can be a helping hand of the government, can raise capital and earn profit to fulfil their purpose. They will not follow the company law or business law but they can be involved in the business as a separate entity of a linked NGO. So careful observation is much needed both on de facto and de jure activities of an NGO. Thus it can be concluded that the formation procedure, objective and activities of an organization shall be the final proof that is an NGO; it must not be a fully profitable business institution, nor does it deserve to be a part of the government where it works for the government by their rule, it must fulfil the purpose of its constitution and act accordingly.


What are the concerns regarding NGOs?

In the face of NGOs, it may look like a God-sent organization for the betterment of this world but the reality might be a little bit different, as we mentioned earlier there are many classifications and kinds of NGOs around the world. There are Zonal, National or International NGOs. Based on the funding we can further broaden the category of NGO s like locally funded, Government funded, Foreign Government funded, funded by national and international institutions and bodies and NGOs cover a wide range of sectors for example:


NGO programs typically include:

Human Rights
Woman Rights
Humanitarian Situation
Health issue
Responding to health crises
Environmental issues
Economic programs
Skills development
Local development
Social issues
Religious perspective ( support and help)

A. How to register an Internation NGO (INGO) in Bangladesh

Primarily operating under the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Act, 2016 (FDRA), the registration of an NGO requires the completion of specific tasks.

Required Documents:

FD-1 Form (signed by Chief Executive in Bangladesh) – 9 copies
Certificate of incorporation in the Country of origin – 3 copies
Constitution – 4 copies
Activities Report – 6 copies
PIan of Operation (Work/Organogram) –  4 copies
The decision of the committee/ Board to open an office in Bangladesh – 4 copies
Letter of Appointment of the Country Representative – 4 copies
Copy of Treasury challan in support of depositing 50000 Taka for local NGO and USD $ 9,000 or Equivalent TK amount for foreign NGO in the Code 1-0323-0000-1836 and 15% Vat Code No (1-1133-00 35 -0311)  – 3 copies
Deed of agreement stamp of TK.300 with the landlord in support of opening the office in Bangladesh – 3 copies
List of Executive Committee (foreign) –  4 copies
Letter of Intent – 5

Note: AII documents from abroad should be notarized by the Justice of peace or attested by the Bangladesh Embassy for INGO

The process of registering a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Bangladesh and ensuring its ongoing compliance is governed by the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Act, 2016 (FDRA). This act mandates that NGOs operating with foreign donations must adhere to specific procedures and regulatory requirements to maintain transparency and accountability. Below is a detailed guide on the registration process and ongoing compliance requirements for NGOs in Bangladesh.

Registration Procedure

The process of registering a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Bangladesh and ensuring its ongoing compliance is governed by the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Act, 2016 (FDRA). This act mandates that NGOs operating with foreign donations must adhere to specific procedures and regulatory requirements to maintain transparency and accountability. Below is a detailed guide on the registration process and ongoing compliance requirements for NGOs in Bangladesh.


1. Registration Procedure

Step 1: Eligibility and Initial Preparation

  • Entity Formation: Ensure that the NGO is formed as a non-political, non-profit voluntary organization registered under the prevailing laws of Bangladesh. The organization must be committed to conducting voluntary activities within the country.
  • Project Definition: Clearly define the voluntary activities the NGO intends to conduct. These activities should align with the purposes specified in the FDRA, including social, religious, cultural, educational, healthcare, environmental conservation, and other charitable activities.

Step 2: Application Submission

  • Application Form: Submit an application for registration to the Director General of the NGO Affairs Bureau in the prescribed manner along with the prescribed fee.
  • Required Documentation: The application must include:
    • The amount of foreign donation expected.
    • The source of the donation.
    • The purposes for which the donation will be used.
    • Relevant information about the organization, including its constitution, board of directors, and operational plans.

Step 3: Verification and Approval

  • Preliminary Scrutiny: The NGO Affairs Bureau will conduct an initial review of the application and obtain the opinions of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Financial Institutions Division of the Ministry of Finance.
  • Issuance of Certificate: If the application meets all requirements, the Director General will issue a registration certificate valid for ten years. This certificate is renewable every ten years, provided the NGO remains in compliance with all regulatory requirements.

Step 4: Renewal of Registration

  • Application for Renewal: NGOs must submit an application for renewal six months before the expiry of the current registration, along with the prescribed renewal fee.
  • Review and Issuance: The Bureau will review the NGO’s activities over the past ten years. If the activities are found to be satisfactory, a renewal certificate for another ten years will be issued.

2. Project Approval and Implementation

Project Proposal

  • Submission: Submit a detailed project proposal to the NGO Affairs Bureau, including the objectives, detailed budget, and expected outcomes. The proposal must also include the opinions of relevant ministries.
  • Evaluation: The Bureau will preliminarily examine the project proposal and obtain feedback from the relevant ministry. If necessary, the proposal may be returned for modifications or amendments.

Project Execution

  • Scope and Budget: Ensure that all activities are confined to the approved project scope and budget. No more than 20% of the project budget can be spent on administrative expenses.
  • Disaster Relief Programs: For disaster relief programs, the Bureau must approve and release funds within 24 hours, given the urgency of the situation.

Ongoing Monitoring

  • Progress Reports: Submit regular progress reports as required by the Bureau to demonstrate ongoing compliance and project advancement.
  • Final Report: Upon project completion, submit a comprehensive final report detailing all activities, outcomes, and financial expenditures.

3. Financial Management and Reporting

Bank Accounts

  • Mother Account: Receive all foreign donations through a specified bank account (mother account) in a scheduled bank.
  • Approval for Funds Release: Obtain an approval letter from the Bureau before the bank releases any foreign donation funds.

Financial Reports

  • Semi-Annual Reports: Bangladesh Bank will provide semi-annual reports of foreign currency received to the NGO Affairs Bureau and the Economic Relations Division.
  • Annual Financial Statements: NGOs must prepare detailed annual financial statements and maintain accurate records of all transactions.

Audit and Accounts

  • Maintenance of Records: Maintain detailed financial records, including receipts, vouchers, and transaction logs.
  • Preservation of Vouchers: Retain expenditure vouchers for five years post-project completion to ensure accountability and facilitate audits.

4. Monitoring and Evaluation

Inspection and Monitoring

  • Regular Inspections: The NGO Affairs Bureau may conduct regular inspections to monitor the NGO’s activities. NGOs must cooperate by providing all required reports and documents.
  • Third-Party Assessors: If necessary, the Bureau may appoint third-party assessors to evaluate the NGO’s activities.

Local Coordination

  • Divisional Oversight: Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, and Upazila Executive Officers will oversee NGO activities in their respective areas, coordinating through regular meetings and reports.
  • Hill Tracts Coordination: The Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council will monitor and coordinate NGO activities in the Hill Tracts area.

5. Recruitment and Travel of Foreign Experts

Appointment Approval

  • Application for Appointment: Submit an application to the Director General for the appointment of foreign experts, advisors, or officers. This application must be within the man-months approved by the Bureau.
  • Security Clearance: Obtain security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs for all foreign appointments.

Foreign Travel

  • Notification to Bureau: Inform the NGO Affairs Bureau about any foreign travel undertaken by NGO personnel for official purposes.
  • Budget Compliance: Ensure that all foreign travel expenses are covered within the project’s approved budget.

6. Reporting Obligations

Annual Reports

  • Submission Deadline: Submit an annual report to the Director General detailing all activities and financial transactions for the fiscal year.
  • Content of Reports: The annual report should include a summary of all projects, financial statements, and an assessment of the outcomes achieved.

Additional Information

  • Ad-Hoc Requests: The Director General may request additional reports or information on any aspect of the approved projects at any time.
  • Declaration of Foreign Donations: NGOs must submit a declaration detailing the foreign donations received, their sources, and their utilization within the time and manner specified by the Director General.

Prohibited Activities and Penalties

Prohibited Donations

  1. Restricted Recipients: Certain individuals and entities, such as political candidates, members of parliament, and government officers, are prohibited from receiving foreign donations.

Offenses and Penalties

  • Violations: Violations of the FDRA can result in various penalties, including warnings, suspension, or cancellation of activities, fines, and legal actions.
  • Punitive Actions: The Director General may issue punitive actions, including fines equivalent to the minimum financial value of the foreign donations received or up to three times that amount for receiving foreign donations without approval.


Different Types of Charitable Organizations in Bangladesh

Any group of individuals intending to establish a charitable organization in Bangladesh for the purpose of social welfare may opt for one of the following legal entities, based on their specific objectives, long-term goals, and operational capacities, as stipulated under the relevant laws:

  1. As a Society or Foundation: Register under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, suitable for organizations focused on social, cultural, and educational activities. See detail guide>
  2. A Charitable Trust: Established under the Trust Act, 1882, appropriate for entities aiming to provide financial assistance, healthcare, and educational support. See detail guide>
  3. As a Social Welfare Organization: Register under Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control) Ordinance, 1961 (Ord. No. XLVI of 1961). See detail guide>
  4. Charitable Company: Incorporated under the Companies Act, 1994, suitable for non-profit organizations intending to operate on a larger scale without issuing shares. See detail guide>

The choice of legal entity should align with the organization’s mission, vision, and planned operational framework.



The registration and ongoing compliance of NGOs in Bangladesh under the FDRA is a rigorous process designed to ensure accountability and transparency. LegalSeba provides expert assistance in navigating these complex regulatory requirements, ensuring that NGOs can focus on their mission while remaining compliant with all legal obligations.

For personalized assistance and more information on NGO registration and compliance in Bangladesh, contact LegalSeba and book a consultation with our experts.

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Choose for expert guidance and support in establishing your NGO in Bangladesh. Our comprehensive services will ensure that you meet all legal requirements efficiently and effectively. Contact us today to get started on your journey to establishing a successful presence in Bangladesh.