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Overview of 12AB Registration

The Finance Act, 2020 has made comprehensive alterations regarding the provisions related to Trusts and NGOs holding exemption u/s 11 or u/s 12 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The amendments in the Finance Act are regarding with the following agendas, which are as follows:-

  • Registration procedure of all the existing registered trusts under section 12AB,
  • Renewal of registration,
  • Approval for deduction u/s 80G and,
  • Preparing the statement of donations received to the Income Tax Authorities are some of the noted ones.

As per the amendment, to continue availing exemption under section 10 or 11, all the existing charitable and religious institutions registered under the following Sections 12A, Section 12AA, Section 10(23C), Section 80G are mandatorily required to change to section 12AB for fresh registration.

Note- The new provisions will come into effect from 1st April 2021, as a result of which every trust or institution which are already in existence will have to mandatory renew the certificate granted under section 12A, 12AA, 80G, or section 35 to change it to section 12AB for fresh registration with the time duration of 3 months which is 30th June 2021.

However, in the case of new Trusts or Institutions, they will have to apply for registration under section 12AB of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

What are the Benefits of 12AB Registration?

The benefits of 12AB Registration are mentioned below:-

  • Help in Providing Electronic Database

    Section 12AB was introduced to provide an electronic database.

  • To Remove Odds from Old Trusts

    The trust registered under the old section however have misplaced their registration number, nor the Income Tax Department have any records of the same. By introducing Section 12AB, the work will be done electronically.

  • Avoiding Difficulty via Various Facilities

    Due to non-commencement of any activities, newly formed Trusts are facing difficulties. Section 12AB has removed that the difficulties of the New trust by providing various facilities.

Who are Eligible to take Registration under 12AB of the Income Tax Act?

To continue taking exemption under section 10 or 11, all the new and existing charitable & religious institutions (including NGOs) which are registered under the following section are compulsorily required to move to section 12AB for fresh registration, which are as follows:-

  • Section 12A
  • Section 12AA
  • Section 10(23C)
  • Section 80G

Also, various institutional trusts registered under section 10(23C) or section 12AA are required to renew their registration under section 12AB. Consequently, Section 12AA which stipulates the registration process for the Trusts or Institutions will cease to exist and a new section 12AB will come into force with effect from whichever is earlier:-

  • The date of grant of registration under section 12AB or,
  • The last date by which the application for registration and approval is required to be made.

What Documents are Required for 12AB Registration?

Various documents are required for registration under 12AB. The list of documents required is mentioned below:-

  • In case of a company- Certificate of Incorporation and MOA.
  • Copy of PAN Card of Trust.
  • In case of a trust-Trust deed (2 self-attested copies by the Managing Trustee)
  • In the case of rented property, NOC from the Landlord is required.
  • To address Proof-Utility Bill Copy i.e. Electricity Bill, Water Bill, House Tax, etc. for the owned property.
  • Proof of welfare activity carried out by the trusts. Also, the progress report of the same for the last 2 years or since inception.
  • Books of Accounts, Balance Sheet, Income Tax return of the last 3 years or since inception (If any).
  • Particulars of Donors with their Id and Address Proof.
  • Particulars of Governing body or members of the trust/Institution.

What is the Registration Procedure for 12AB Registration?

The procedure for registration under Section 12AB of the Income Tax act 1961 is not defined as such. However, these steps are required to be followed:-

  • The application for 12AB can be made by filing Form 10A online on the income tax site
  • Form Section 12AB is available on the income tax website under Income Tax Forms Section under the e-file menu which is visible after login on the website.
  • The application shall be made online to the appropriate authority by Filing Form 10A along with the requisite documents to the Commissioner or Principal Commissioner.
  • After reviewing the application Commissioner or Principal Commissioner shall pass an order granting approval or rejection within 3 months from the date of commencement of new provisions.
  • Further, in the case where Commissioner or Principal Commissioner is not satisfied that the charitable trusts or institution, etc. have complied with the objects mentioned or with any other law, shall cancel the registration of charitable institution etc. However, the authority will provide a reasonable opportunity of being heard before canceling the registration.

What is the Validity of Registration granted under Section 12AB?

The registration granted under section 12AB remains valid for 5 years. However, in the case of Provisional registration, it shall be valid for 3 years. All the registration granted under section 12AB shall be subject to renewal as determined under the new scheme of registration.

What is the Division of Registration under 12AB?

As per the current way of registration effect from 1st April 2021, the registration can be divided into the below-mentioned categories:-

  • Existing trusts registered under 12A/12AA needs to be re- registered under Section 12AB.
  • Process of Conversion of Provisional Registration into Normal Registration also Includes Provisional Registration.
  • Renewal of Registration granted under Section 12AB.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Private Limited Company

    By virtue of section 2(68) of the Companies Act, 2013, Private Limited Company is a type of company which offers limited liability with certain restrictions defined in regulations:

    • restricts the right to transfer shares
    • Limits the numbers of its members to 200
    • Prohibits any invitation to the public to subscribe for any shares in, are debentures of the company(No Public Trading of Shares)
    • Prohibits any invitation or acceptance of deposits from persons other than its member
    • The word ‘Private Limited’ must be added at the end of its name
  2. One Person Company

    One Person Company popularly known as OPC introduced in India under the Companies Act, 2013. The concept of OPC is a fusion of sole proprietorship and private company which intends to permit single economic entrepreneurship to take the advantages of a corporate form of organisation.

  3. Limited Liability Partnership

    Limited Liability Partnership is a corporate entity registered under Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008. It is a form of partnership firm that enjoys limited liability. It is a hybrid form of a partnership that includes the features of a company. Compliances for a company are applicable to LLP.

No, the whole incorporation process is online. You can send the scanned copy of all the required incorporation documents via e-mail. All the forms and documents are filed electronically and even signed digitally.

The company name should be selected with utmost care. The rules for selecting a company are:

  • The name should be ended with the words “Private Limited” in case of private company, “OPC” in case of one person company and “LLP” in case of limited liability partnership which is mandated by law.
  • The name must be unique.
  • Follow the naming guidelines for better chances of approval.
  • The name should be suggestive of the main objectives to be taken by the business entity.
  1. Private Limited Company
    • Appointment of auditor
    • Statutory audit of accounts
    • Filing of annual return
    • Filing of financial statements
    • Holding Annual General Meeting (AGM)
    • Prepare directors’ report
    • Filing of income tax return
  2. One Person Company
    • Appointment of statutory auditor
    • Holding Board Meetings (BM)
    • Filing of financial statements
    • Filing of annual return
  3. Limited Liability Partnership
    • Filing of financial statements
    • Filing of annual return
    • Filing of income tax return
    • Appointment of auditor
    • Filing of LLP annual return

You don’t need a proper office to incorporate a business entity. You can register your residential address as a registered place of your business with MCA for which some address proof along with the NOC (No Objection Certificate) has to be filed with the prescribed form.

NRIs only allowed to incorporate limited business entities in India including private limited company and limited liability partnership. Also, there is no requirement to obtain the prior approval from the government or RBI. But, in order to register a private company or an LLP at least one director/partner must be a resident of India. However, the private limited company is ideal for NRIs.

In order to execute the idea into a long-term business, choosing the right form of business is important. For start-ups, Private Limited Company is the best option for the following reasons:

  • Limited legal compliances
  • No minimum capital contribution
  • Need only 2 directors and shareholders (both can be the same person)
  • Funding can be raised
  • Limited liability of the members

As per the relevant Act, there is no minimum requirement for Paid-up Share capital or contribution to incorporate a private company, one person company or limited liability partnership. However, each shareholder/partner should subscribe to a minimum one share of Rs.10 face value.

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