About VWOs, Charities IPCS
What is a Voluntary Welfare Organisation (VWO)?
A VWO is a non-profit organisation that provides services to benefit the community. Although there is no legal definition of a VWO, VWOs are typically registered as charities and are primarily set up to meet social service needs.
How to set up a VWO?
Individuals who are keen to set up a VWO 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.
- 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 VWO 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 (thatallows VWO to issue tax deductible receipts to donors). View the Charity Portal to learn more.
VWOs can also apply to become a NCSS member via the e-services,
to enjoy member benefits, be connected to a network of other VWOs and receive periodic updates on developments in the social service sector.