Navigating Registration: Obligations and Procedures under Sections 9 and 10 of the Societies Act in Kenya

In the regulatory landscape of societies in Kenya, Sections 9 and 10 of the Societies Act establish crucial provisions regarding the application for registration or exemption.

These sections outline the mandatory application process and the subsequent procedures for effecting registration or exemption.

Let’s delve into the details of Sections 9 and 10 to understand the obligations and steps societies must follow.

Section 9: Society’s Application for Registration or Exemption

Section 9 sets forth a fundamental requirement for every society in Kenya. Within twenty-eight days of its formation, a society is obligated to make an application to the Registrar for either registration or exemption from registration. This mandatory application is to be submitted in the prescribed manner, emphasizing the importance of timely compliance with the Societies Act.

Section 10: Manner of Effecting Registration or Exemption

Section 10 outlines the procedures for effecting registration or exemption from registration upon the submission of an application.

Registration Procedure (Subsection 1):

When a society applies for registration, the Registrar is mandated to register the society by entering the prescribed particulars and the date of entry in the register of societies. This process is subject to the provisions outlined in the Societies Act.

Exemption Procedure (Subsection 2):

If a society applies for exemption from registration, the Registrar, with the approval of the Cabinet Secretary, may grant the exemption. If exemption is not granted, the application is automatically treated as an application for registration. The Registrar, subject to the provisions of the Societies Act, then registers the society.

Issuance of Certificate (Subsection 3):

Upon completing the registration or exemption process, the Registrar is required to issue a certificate of registration or exemption to the society.

This certificate is provided in the prescribed form and serves as official recognition of the society’s status.

Key Considerations:

Prescribed Manner:

Both sections emphasize that the application for registration or exemption must be made in the prescribed manner, indicating the importance of adhering to specific procedural requirements.

Time Sensitivity:

Section 9 underscores the time sensitivity of the application process, emphasizing that societies must submit their applications within twenty-eight days of formation.

Registrar’s Role:

The Registrar plays a pivotal role in effecting registration or exemption, ensuring that societies comply with the relevant legal provisions.


Sections 9 and 10 of the Societies Act establish a structured framework for societies in Kenya to seek official recognition through registration or exemption. By providing clear guidelines and timeframes, these sections contribute to the orderly functioning of societies and the maintenance of transparency within the legal framework.

Societies are encouraged to diligently follow the prescribed procedures to ensure compliance with the Societies Act.