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Classification of forms and types of NGOs in Ukraine

Some legislation news on non-governmental associations

The right to unite is one of the main human rights because it provides functioning of civil society. For the first time this right was regulated by the Law of Ukraine "On association of citizens" dated on the 16th of June 1992. According to developing of public relations this law was recognized as incongruous with modern demandments and European standards. The new Law of Ukraine "On non-governmental associations" came into force on the first of January 2013 and brought a lot of legal innovations:
  • simplification of the registration procedure which is free of charge. Such procedures as a putting changes in a charter or into a structure of management are paid;
  • decrease of reasons for non-registration of non-governmental associations and contraction of a registration term (7 days);
  • removal of restrictions on defeating only members' interests;
  • right to do its activities on the whole territory of Ukraine;
  • all-Ukrainian status is kept but confirmation of it can be done willingly;
  • harmonization of articles about non-governmental associations' control with European standards;
  • approved a new list of reasons for non-governmental associations' liquidation;
  • there is a right of non-governmental associations to do their activities according to charters. Non-governmental associations which have a status of legal entity can do entrepreneurship not only through their companies but also they can do it by themselves in a case of doing their activity according to targets of charters;
  • non-governmental organizations and unions which have a status of private law entities and a status of legal entities can do their activities.

Article 1 of the Law of Ukraine "On non-governmental associations" defines non-governmental associations as willingly unity of individuals and/or legal entities of private law for realization and defeating right and interests, satisfaction of social interests (economic, cultural, ecological interests etc). So non-governmental associations are communities which have a target to defeat rights and interests, satisfy social interests. You can find a detail information about innovations of the new Law of Ukraine "On non-governmental associations" here.

Types of non-governmental associations

According to the Law of Ukraine "On non-governmental associations" there are two types of non-governmental associations -  non-governmental organizations and  non-governmental union. In order to that article 1 defines a non-governmental organization is a non-governmental association which is established by individuals and have them as members of organization; a non-governmental unity is a non-governmental association which is established by legal entities and have them and individuals as members of unity. So the main differences are related to requirements for establishers and members.

Criteria Non-governmental organization  Non-governmental unity
 Establishers  Citizens of Ukraine, foreigners,
persons without citizenship
which are staying in Ukraine legally
and reach 18 years old (for child
and youth non-governmental
organizations -
reaching 14 years old) 
 Legal entities of private law,
non-governmental associations
with a status of legal entity
 Restrictions for
 Incapacitated persons
can't be establishers.
 Political parties; legal entities 
which are in a state
of liquidation; legal entities with
the same
establisher; legal entities
which establisher is
in the list of terorists
or international sanctions
are applied to establisher
can't be establishers.
 Members  Persons who reach 14 years
old can be members.
The age of members of
child and youth
non-governmental organization
is defines by the law. 
Legal entities of private law,
non-governmental associations
with a status of legal entity, individuals
who reach 18 years old
and are capacitated can be members.
 Number of establishers  Not less than 2 persons.  Not less than 2 persons.
Citizens of Ukraine, foreigners, 
persons without citizenship 
which are staying in Ukraine legally
 1. Legal entities of private law,
non-governmental associations
with a status of legal entity.
2. Individuals.
Mixed participation  Only individuals. Legal entities of private law
and individuals.

Type of a non-governmental association is also required part of an association name. It means that it forms the general name of a non-governmental association.

Is non-governmental association a legal entity?

Non-governmental associations can be establish with a status of legal entity or without it. They differ from each other by amount of rights and obligations.

According to Civil Code of Ukraine a legal entity is a organization which has a separated property, can act on its behalf, gets non-property rights and obligations, can sue and can be sued.

So non-governmental associations with a status of legal entity get all characteristics which are the same to a usual legal entities. Comparing to this associations, non-governmental associations without a status of legal entity can:
  • be a party in civil legal relations, get non-property and property rights and obligations according to the law;
  • do entrepreneurship by themselves but at the same time they shouldn't forget that some types of entrepreneurship can be reason for revocation of a non-profit status;
  • establish mass-media for reaching charter's targets;
  • participate in a state regulatory policy;
  • participate in consultative, advisory and accessory bodies which are established by state bodies, local authorities for consultations with them and preparation of recommendations which are related to their sphere of activity;
  • establish companies which can execute a state task according to the law.

At the same time non-governmental associations with a status of legal entity and their companies must keep accounting records, financial and statistical reporting, must be registrated in State Fiscal Service of Ukraine and pay taxes according to the law.

Status of non-governmental organizations or unities

Status of non-governmental associations was changed according to the new law. There is no article about classification in order to the territory of association's activity now. So it's not an obligation anymore to divide associations into all-Ukrainian, local and international. This law defines that non-governmental associations can have child, youth and all-Ukrainian status. Meaning of an all-Ukrainian status is different from previous one.

Article 19 of the new law defines that non-governmental associations can have all-Ukrainian status if they have chapters in the most Ukrainian regions which are mentioned in article 133 of Constitution of Ukraine and if they confirm this status according to the law. If an association want to have this status then there must be not less than 14 charters in different regions of Ukraine. Confirmation and disclaimer are voluntary. For this procedure an association must submit an application form to the registration state body.


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