China's Regulation on the Administration of the Registration of Social Organizations
China's Regulation on the Administration of the Registration of Social Organizations
- Document Number：Order No.666 of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
- Area of Law： Civil Affairs
- Level of Authority： Administrative Regulations
- Date issued：02-06-2016
- Effective Date：10-25-1998
- Status： Effective
- Issuing Authority： State Council
Regulation on the
Administration of the Registration of Social Organizations
(Adopted at the 8th ordinary session of the State Council on September 25, 1998; issued by the Order No.250 of the State Council of the People's Republic of China on October 25, 1998; and revised in accordance with the Decision of the State Council on Amending Certain Administrative Regulations on February 6, 2016)
Chapter I General Principles
Article 1 These regulations are issued in order to guarantee citizens' freedom of association, to protect society's legal rights and interests, to promote the registration and management of social organizations, and promote socialist material and spiritual civilization.
Article 2 In these regulations 'social organization' means voluntary groups formed by Chinese citizens in order to realize a shared objective, according to their rules and to develop non profit making activities.
All groups other than state organs may join social organizations as institutional members.
Article 3 To become established, social organizations must be approved by the authorized department and follow the registration procedure set out in these regulations.
Social organizations must have the status of a legal entity.
These regulations do not apply to the following organizations:
(1) Peoples organizations which participate in the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference.
(2)Organs under the administration of the authorized State Council departments
(3) State organs and groups, enterprises and institutional units, and their internal bodies or groups.
Article 4 Social organizations must observe the constitution, state laws, regulations and state policy; must not oppose the basic principles of the constitution, harm the unity, security or ethnic harmony of the state, or interests of the state and society, or the lawful interests of other organizations or citizens, or offend social morality.
Social organizations may not undertake profit seeking activities.
Article 5 The state will protect social organizations and their activities conducted in accordance with the law, regulations and rules; other organizations or persons must not unlawfully interfere with them.
Article 6 The Ministry of Civil Affairs and local Civil Affairs departments at county level and above are the basic peoples government agencies for registration and management of social organizations. (Below, these are referred to as 'registration and management agencies'. State Council relevant departments and local government relevant departments at county level and above, or organs empowered by the State Council or local government at county level and above, serve as the relevant leading units of social organizations in related trade, scientific or other professional areas (These are below referred to as 'professional leading units').
Laws, administrative laws and regulations regarding the supervision and management of social organizations, will take effect in conjunction with other laws, administrative laws and regulations.
Chapter II Administration
Article 7 National level social organizations must register with and be managed by State Council registration and management agencies; local social organizations must register with and be managed by the local People's Government registration and management agencies; inter-area social organizations must register with and be managed by common higher level peoples registration and management agencies.
Article 8 If the registration and management agency and the professional leading unit are not in the same place as a social organization, then supervision and management can be deputed to local registration and management agencies and professional leading units.
Chapter III Registration
Article 9 Candidate social organizations must be investigated and approved by a professional leading unit, and the promoters shall apply to the registration authority for registration.
No activity other than preparation may be conducted during the preparation period.
Article 10 To establish a social organization the following conditions must be satisfied:
(1) An organization must have more than 50 individual members or more than 30 institutional members or, if it has both individual and institutional members, a total of at least fifty.
(2) It must have a standard name, and organizational capacity.
(3) It must have a fixed location.
(4) It must have staff with qualifications appropriate to the professional activities of the organization.
(5) It must have lawful assets and a source of funds. National level organizations must have a minimum of 100,000 yuan to cover their activities; local social organizations and inter-area social organizations must have a minimum of 30,000 yuan.
(6) It must be legally liable in its own right.
A social organization's name must comply with the law and statutory regulations and must not offend public morality. A social organization's name must reflect its activities, character and area of operations. Where national organizations use 'Chinese', 'All-China' etc, in their titles, they must be approved in accordance with the relevant state regulations. Local social organizations cannot use 'National', 'Chinese', 'All China' etc in their names.
Article 11 to apply for the registration of a social organization must supply the registration and management agency with the following documents:
(1) A written application for registration.
(2) A document of approval from the professional leading unit.
(3) A record of assets and proof of right of use of premises.
(4) Verification of identity and basic situation of intended people in charge and persons applying.
(5) A draft of the constitution.
Article 12 Within 60 days of receipt of all valid documents as listed in Article 11 of this Regulation, the registration authority shall decide whether or not to approve the registration. If the registration is approved, a Registration Certificate for a Social Organization as a Legal Person shall be issued; and if the registration is not approved, the reasons for the disapproval shall be explained to the promoters.
The registration matters for a social organization shall include: the name, address, vision, business scope, fields of activity, legal representative, funding, and supervising authority.
The legal representative of a social organization shall disapprove the registration of any other social organization.
Article 13 The registration and management agency will not approve the registration preparation in any of the following cases:
(1) If it can be shown that the objectives and area of work of a social organization application for registration do not comply with Article 4 of these regulations.
(2) If in the same administrative area there is already a social organization active in the same or similar area of work, there is no need for a new organization to be established.
(3) If the persons applying or the intended persons in charge have ever received criminal sanction of being deprived of their political rights, or do not possess complete civil liability.
(4) If deception is employed in the preliminary application.
(5) Other cases prohibited by law or administrative rules and regulations.
Article 14 A social organization's charter must include the following items:
(1) Name and address.
(2) Objectives, professional area and the geographical area of activity.
(3) Membership qualifications, rights and duties.
(4) Democratic organization and management structure and procedure for establishing an executive body.
(5) Qualifications of and procedure for appointing and replacing office holders.
(6) Principles of management and use of funds.
(7) Procedure for amending the charter.
(8) Procedure in the event of ceasing operations and management of remaining funds.
(9) Other business to be regulated by the charter.
Article 15 According to the law, a social organization that has the legal person status from the date of approval of its formation shall, within 60 days of the approval, submit the approval document to the registration authority to apply for a Registration Certificate for a Social Organization as a Legal Person. Within 30 days of receipt of the document, the registration authority shall issue a Registration Certificate for a Social Organization as a Legal Person to it.
Article 16 The social organization, as named in the 'social organization legal entity registration certificate', may apply for an official seal and open a bank account. The social organization must submit details of the design of the official seal and the bank account numbers for inclusion in the file held by the registration and management agency.
Article 17 Branches and representative agencies of social organizations belong to social organizations and may not be legal entities in their own right; they must comply with the rules regarding objectives, area of work, and geographical area as set out in the charter of the social organization; and implement activities and develop the membership in accordance with the authorised mandate of the social organization. Social organization branches must not establish their own branches.
Social organizations must not establish regional branches.
Chapter IV Modification or Cancellation of Registration
Article 18 If registration particulars or those held on file need to be changed, within thirty days of investigation and approval by the professional leading unit, the social organization must apply to the registration and management agency.
If a social organization wishes to amend its charter, within thirty days of investigation and approval by the professional leading unit, it must report the changes for approval by the registration and management agency.
Article 19 If any of the following circumstances apply to a social organization, after investigation and agreement by the professional leading unit, the social organization must apply to the registration and management agency for cancellation.
(1) The objective of the social organization has been achieved.
(2) Closure of the organization on its own initiative.
(3) Separation of an organization into discrete groups, or combination with other organizations.
(4) Other reasons for closure.
Article 20 Before a social organization cancels registration it must, under the guidance of the professional leading unit and other relevant units, establish a receiver group to complete winding up operations. In the winding up period, the social organization may not implement any activities other than winding up.
Article 21 Within fifteen days of completion of the winding up process, the social organization must undertake cancellation of registration with the registration and management agency. In undertaking cancellation of registration, the organization must submit an application for cancellation of registration signed by the legal representative person, together with investigation files and winding up report by the professional leading unit.
If the registration and management agency approves the cancellation of registration it will issue a confirmation of cancellation and withdraw the social organization's registration certificate, official seal and accounts.
Article 22 After cancellation of registration of a social organization, its remaining capital will be dealt with in accordance with relevant national regulations.
Article 23 Establishment, cancellation of registration, or changes in the name, address or legal representative of a social organization must be publicized by the registration and management agency.
Chapter V Supervision and Management
Article 24 The registration and management agency will have the following responsibilities for supervision and management:
(1) It is responsible for the registration, modification and closure of social organizations.
(2) It is responsible for conducting an annual review on the social organization.
(3) It is responsible for supervision and review in cases where social organizations fail to comply with these regulations, and for applying disciplinary sanctions to organizations which fail to comply with these regulations.
Article 25 The professional leading unit will have the following responsibilities for supervision and management:
(1) It is responsible for investigating the social organization's establishment, modification or cancellation of registration.
(2) It is responsible for supervising and guiding the social organization in observance of the constitution, laws, statutory regulations, national policy, and in developing activities in accordance with their charter.
(3) It is responsible for conducting a preliminary stage of the annual review.
(4) It is responsible for helping the registration and management agency and other relevant departments to investigate and deal with illegal activities of social organizations.
(5) It is responsible with other relevant departments for guiding the process of winding up social organizations.
Professional leading units may not levy a fee from the social organizations for performing the above services.
Article 26 A social organization's capital resources must be lawfully obtained; no institution or individual may seize, secretly divide or divert the social organization's capital.
A social organization's resources, and income lawfully obtained from activities carried out in accordance with its charter and in accordance with relevant regulations, must be used for the area of work as defined by the organization's charter and must not be distributed to the membership.
Contributions or donations to social organizations must be used in compliance with the principles and areas of work laid down in the organization's charter, and in compliance with purposes, methods and timescale as agreed with donors. Social organizations must report to their professional leading unit on the receipt and use of contributions and donations, and must use appropriate means of publicizing relevant information to society at large.
Salaries, insurance and social welfare benefits for full time staff of social organizations must comply with relevant regulations for institutional units [shiye danwei].
Article 27 Social organizations must comply with the national financial management system and regulations, and accept the supervision of the Ministry of Finance; if an organization's capital resources also derive from national subsidies or public contributions and donations it must also accept the supervision of the National Audit Office.
Before changing office holders or legal representatives the registration and management agency and professional leading unit must carry out a financial audit of the organization.
Article 28 Social organizations must submit to their professional leading unit an annual work report for the preceding year by March 31; after preliminary investigation and approval by the professional leading unit, the report must be submitted, by May 31, to the registration and management agency, which will then carry out an annual review. The work report should include the following contents: the organization's situation in respect of complying with laws, regulations and national policy; its situation in respect of these regulations' registration requirements; activities carried out in accordance with its charter; any changes in membership, administration; financial situation.
The registration and management agency should simplify the contents of the annual review for social organizations which have, in accordance with Article 17 of these regulations, been issued with a 'social organization legal entity registration certificate'.
Chapter VI Sanctions
Article 29 If a social organization engages in deception while applying for registration, or if within one year of receiving the 'social organization legal entity registration certificate' it does not engage in any activities, then the registration and management agency must cancel the registration.
Article 30 In any of the following cases, the registration and management agency will issue social organizations with a formal warning and instruction to rectify their conduct; it may also stipulate a time frame within which further activities must cease; and may order a change in executives with direct management responsibilities; in serious cases, registration will be cancelled; if the activities are criminal, criminal sanctions will be applied in accordance with the law.
(1) Where the 'social organization legal entity registration certificate' is obliterated, hired out or lent, or the social organization's official seal is hired out or lent.
(2) Where an organization's activities go beyond the principles and area of work as defined in the charter.
(3) Where supervision and reviews in accordance with the regulations are refused or not accepted.
(4) Where modifications of registration are not carried out in accordance with the regulations.
(5) Where a branch office or a representative office is formed in violation of the relevant provisions, or where poor management of branches or representative agencies has serious results.
(6) Where organizations engage in profit seeking activities.
(7) Where a social organization's capital, public contributions or donations are seized, secretly divided or diverted.
(8) Where relevant national regulations are contravened in the charging of fees, collection or receipt of financial resources, donations or contributions.
Illegal profits and other illegally obtained goods, gained through activities covered in the above regulations, will be confiscated; a fine may also be imposed equivalent to between one and three times the value of illegally gained profits or between three and five times the value of illegally obtained goods.
Article 31 If a social organization's activities oppose other laws or regulations, it will be dealt with by the appropriate national agencies; if the relevant national agencies consider the social organization should be closed down, the registration and management agency will cancel the registration.
Article 32 where any activity other than preparation is conducted during the preparation period, or if it carries out activities in the name of a social organization without being registered, or if a social organization whose registration has been cancelled continues to carry out activities in the name of the social organization, then the registration and management agency will close the organization down and confiscate its illegal assets; in criminal cases, criminal penalties will be applied in accordance with the law; in non criminal cases, a public security sanction may be imposed in accordance with the law.
Article 33 If a social organization is instructed to cease its activities within a specified time, the registration and management agency will freeze the 'social organization legal entity registration certificate', official seal and financial records.
If the registration of a social organization is cancelled, the registration and management agency will confiscate its 'social organization legal entity registration certificate' and official seal.
Article 34 If the staff of the registration and management agency or the professional leading unit abuse their powers, fail to act impartially and commit irregularities, or neglect their duty, in criminal cases criminal penalties will be applied in accordance with the law, in non-criminal cases disciplinary sanctions will be imposed in accordance with the law.
Chapter VII Supplementary
Article 35 The design of the 'social organization legal entity registration certificate' is decided by the State Council Ministry of Civil Affairs.
No charge may be levied for conducting the annual review.
Article 36 Social organizations already established before the issuing of these regulations, must apply for registration in accordance with the provisions of these regulations, within one year of these regulations taking effect.
Article 37 These regulations take effect from the date of publication. At the same time, the State Council's 'Regulations on Registration and Management of Social Organizations' published on October 25, 1989 no longer have effect.