About social service organisations, Charities IPCS


What is a social service organisation?

A social service organisation is a non-profit organisation that provides services to benefit the community. Although there is no legal definition of a social service organisation, social service organisations are typically registered as charities and are primarily set up to meet social service needs.


How to set up a social service organisation?

Individuals who are keen to set up a social service organisation must first establish a legal entity.  These can either be a Society or a Company Limited by Guarantee.  The third option is to set up the entity as a Trust, which is less common.   


Register as a Society

Registration can be done at the Registry of Societies (ROS) website.


Incorporate as a Company Limited by Guarantee

For more information, refer to the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) website.


Form a Trust

You will need to seek legal assistance to set up a Trust under the Trustees Act.  You may wish to refer to the Trustees Act for more information.


Additional Information

  • For further details on the differences between the three legal structures (Society/ Company Limited by Guarantee/ Trust), please refer to information available at The Law Society Charity Information Portal. Once a social service organisation is registered as a legal entity, it is eligible to apply to theCommissioner of Charities for charity status (for exemption from corporate income tax) and Institution of a Public Character (IPC) status (that allows social service organisation to issue tax deductible receipts to donors). View the Charity Portal to learn more.
Social service organisations can also apply to become a NCSS member via the e-services, to enjoy member benefits, be connected to a network of other social service organisations and receive periodic updates on developments in the social service sector.