The Multi-State Cooperative Societies (MSCS) Act 2002 is the statute for registering cooperative societies in multiple states. The MSCS Act enacts, amends, and deals with the multi-state cooperative society registration rules and regulations. As cooperative societies are incorporated in each state, they come under the category of that particular state.
So, each state government has the power to draft and release laws for controlling cooperative societies in the specific state. The state governments enact and formulate cooperative society laws specific and unique to that concerned state. Additionally, to the particular state cooperative societies laws, the MSCS Act, 2002, will apply to cooperative societies located in all the states.
If you want to set up a multi-state cooperative society, then obtaining the registration of a cooperative society that operates in multiple states gives you various benefits.
Did you know? The multi-state cooperative society registered under the MSCS Act, 2002 is voluntary and not mandatory. However, there are certain circumstances under which the registration of a multi-state harmonious society becomes compulsory and mandatory.
What Is the Objective Behind MSCS Act?
The MSCS Act 2002 protects the interests of members of the multi-state cooperative society by amending and consolidating the related laws. This act supports and encourages the multi-state cooperative societies to promote the society's economic and social improvement. In a nutshell, the main objective of this act is to enable the voluntary formation of cooperative societies. The other objectives of the MSCS Act also include the following:
- To aid the cooperative societies supporting the interests of weaker sections of the society.
- To support the individual sellers and producers having limited access to sell their produce under one roof called cooperative society.
- To enable the democratic functioning of cooperative societies on the motive of self-help and mutual aid.
- To allow the operation of cooperative societies as people’s institutions where the main objective is “All for each and each for all.”
- To enable the cooperative society members to promote their economic and social betterment.
- To facilitate the right of self-governance for dealing with matters related to the administration of cooperative societies.
- To provide monetary support during a financial crunch or crisis period.
- To support and empower the members of the below poverty line (BPL) category and their interests through self-help and mutual help concepts.
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What Is a Multi-State Cooperative Society?
A multi-state cooperative society is a society registered or deemed to be registered under the MSCS Act, 2002, which may include a national cooperative society and a federal cooperative. Both types of cooperative societies, such as primary (consisting of individual and institutional members) and federal cooperatives (composed of only institutional membership), can be formed under this act. There are various cooperative societies under which a multi-state society can be incorporated.
The multi-state cooperative society doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be incorporated in more than one state. The cooperative society is still considered a multi-state society even when no branches exist in more than one state. However, to be regarded as a multi-state cooperative, it should serve the “interests of members of cooperative society in more than one state or multiple states”. As long as the cooperative society is operated in one state and serves the interests of members in multiple states, it is considered a multi-state cooperative society.
Mandatory Registration Under the MSCS Act
One of the main objectives of the MSCS Act is to facilitate the “voluntary formation” of multi-state cooperative societies. According to this act, the multi-state cooperative society registration is voluntary. So, whether to opt for mandatory registration depends on the members of the cooperative society. However, the MSCS Act highlights the circumstances where the law makes registration mandatory. These circumstances include:
- The members of cooperative societies in the specific state are more than fifty.
- The members must hold property and enter into contracts in society's name.
- The members of a cooperative society living in multiple states
- The members require a loan from banks and to pledge property in the name of the society
- The society should advance loans of more than ₹5,000 to the members without the registrar's sanction
- To participate in court cases and legal proceedings in the name of the society
- The member list of a cooperative society is to be updated as another cooperative society is proposed to be joined as a member
- The society, after receiving the registrar's permission, should advance loans to another cooperative society
Conditions To Be Fulfilled Before Registering Under MSCS Act
Before proceeding with the multi-state cooperative society registration, some conditions must be satisfied. These conditions will ensure that your cooperative society is in line with the provisions of the MSCS Act and is planning to serve the interests of society members. No cooperative society is allowed to be registered in case of non-fulfilment of these conditions. The pre-conditions to be fulfilled before registration of cooperative society are as follows:
- Cooperative society minimum members of at least fifty members from each state where registration is proposed must be present.
- The drafted bye-laws of the cooperative society should include the framework for the social and economic upliftment of the members, and the bye-laws should not violate the MSCS Act rules and regulations.
- The cooperative society must serve the member's interests in more than a single state or multiple states as claimed.
- Mutual help and cooperation among the society members should be pursued as the main objective of its existence.
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Multi-State Cooperative Society Registration Procedure
Though the registration of a cooperative society is optional or voluntary in the multi-state scenario, the advantages of registration are abundant. A multi-state cooperative society enjoys the same benefits as a company and is considered a body corporate with a common seal, separate legal entity and perpetual succession.
You can now opt for cooperative society registration online by submitting the application form and required documents quickly. Various online law consultants can assist you in the overall process.
The process is as follows:
- After ensuring the fulfilment of pre-conditions for registration, the cooperative society members should make sure all the required documents, along with bye-laws are readily available
- The application to the “Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies” must be submitted in the FORM – I as prescribed
- FORM – I is the “Application for registration of a Multi-State Cooperative Society under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002”
- The application must be submitted in the prescribed format as in FORM – I
- The required documents (discussed below) must be attached to the application form and should be submitted accordingly
- Usually, it can take 5 to 6 months after the submission of the documents to receive the Ministry approval
- The approval from Ministry can be earlier if all the documents are submitted in the proper format
- Members of the cooperative society must reply to the objections, if any, raised by the registrar
- The registrar gives the multi-state cooperative society registration certificate after full approval.
Documents for the Multi-State Cooperative Society Registration
Submission of required documents is essential to register a cooperative society. This checklist regarding the required documents for cooperative society registration gives all the details needed for the same. Here are some of the essential documents for multi-state cooperative registration:
- FORM – along with the documents and enclosures required under FORM – I
- Four copies of proposed bye-laws in original
- Certified copies of the resolution passed by the cooperative society regarding the promoter appointment
- List of cooperative society minimum members of 50 people or more, if any, and their details like name, address, date of birth, etc.
- Preceding three financial years audited financial statements of the cooperative society (exempted in the case where cooperative society has not completed three years since incorporation)
- A bank certificate mentioning the credit balance in favour of the proposed multi-state cooperative society
- Contact details of the chief promoter or cooperative society
- In some instances, like thrift and credit, NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the registrar of the state where the place of operation of the society is proposed
- Copies of Aadhar, PAN, and other necessary details of all the society members attested by the promoter of society
- Society should also mention the list of states where current operations are conducted, and future operations are proposed to be undertaken (society is allowed to operate in only two conditions for the first two years since the registration date)
- A detailed explanation of the framework and working of the cooperative society
- Proof of payment of cooperative society registration fees
- List of share capital contributors, along with the amount contributed by each member
- Other necessary documents as may be prescribed by the registrar
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Circumstances Where Multi-State Cooperative Registration Certificate Stands Cancelled
After successfully obtaining the multi-state cooperative society registration certificate and setting up the cooperative society, specific scenarios can occur where the cooperative registration certification is cancelled. In these cases, the old cooperative society registration is cancelled, and the society is deemed dissolved. The old society ceases to exist as a corporate body, and a new society is formed as a result of these specific scenarios given below:
- The transfer of the whole of assets and liabilities of a multi-state cooperative society to another multi-state harmonious society or cooperative society
- The amalgamation of two or more cooperative societies into a new multi-state harmonious society
- The demerger or division of a multi-state cooperative society into two or more cooperative multi-state cooperative societies
This is all you need to know about the multi-state cooperative society registration procedure, the documents required for the process, the MSCS Act, 2002, and the mandatory registration under the MSCS Act. You shall also check out the multi-state cooperative society list and the status of your cooperative registration.
Once done, download your society registration certificate download application forms like FORM – II, FORM- III, FORM – IV, FORM - V, and more on the official Multi-state Cooperative Societies online website.
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