How to name a public organization and register its symbols in Ukraine?

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Registration of non-governmental organization in Ukraine
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When setting up a non-governmental organization with legal status, there are several benefits, such as the ability to engage in financial activities, open a bank account, and hire staff. However, registering such an organization requires careful preparation, including gathering all the necessary documents and considering various legal details.

One important consideration for potential founders is how to name the organization and design its logo. A good name and effective symbolism can help attract attention and communicate the essence of the organization's work. It's worth noting that using certain words or concepts in the organization's name could raise concerns with regulatory bodies. For example, using the name of a famous person or including potentially controversial terms could complicate the registration process. 

In our article, we will explore the best practices for naming a nonprofit organization and the necessary steps to register its symbols. If you require not only information but also assistance with the actual registration process of a nonprofit organization, feel free to reach out to us. With over 14 years of experience in registering and supporting nonprofits in Ukraine, we are well-equipped to help you register your organization. We can develop a customized charter, structure, and more. Our team excels in handling any complex tasks, including registering a nonprofit organization with foreign founders, selecting unique names for the organization, preparing legal documentation for grant applications, and more.

What documents are needed for registering a non-governmental organization?

If you're planning to register a non-governmental organization, it's important to prepare the necessary documents correctly. These documents include the charter, protocol, register of members, and register of information about the composition of management bodies.

To register your non-governmental organization, you'll need to provide the following documents:

  • An application
  • Minutes of the founding meeting
  • Information about the governing bodies
  • Ownership structure
  • Charter of the non-governmental organization

To prepare these documents, we'll need information about the leadership and founders, including passport copies, tax identification numbers, and contact information.

Errors in document preparation can cause delays in the registration process. With our professional assistance, we can handle everything for you and make the registration process quick and hassle-free. You won't have to wait in long queues or visit government agencies.

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Key requirements for naming a non-governmental organization: infographic

Key requirements for naming a non-governmental organization

The name of a non-governmental organization is established by the decision of the founders at the formation of the organization.

The requirements for naming a non-governmental organization, as provided for by current legislation, are as follows:

  • The name must include information about the organizational and legal form (in this case, non-governmental organization) and a distinctive name.
  • The name of the organization should contain information about the goals of its activities, its type, dependence on a legal entity, status (such as "youth", "national", "environmental", "humanitarian", etc.) and/or its type ("environmental", "human rights", etc.).
  • The name of the organization cannot be identical to the name of another organization, which should be checked in the State Register.
  • The name of the organization must be indicated in Ukrainian. A public association may also indicate its name in a foreign language or the language of a national minority.

A distinctive name of the organization may consist of the name (alias) of a natural person only with the prior written consent of that person or their heirs, certified properly.

In the name of the non-governmental organization, it is prohibited to use:

  • the name of a government authority, the authority of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, or the authority of local self-government, including the constituent parts of these authorities' names (such as "ministry," "agency," "service," "administration," "prosecutor's office");
  • the name of an organization whose activities have been banned by a court (within the last 3 years);
  • historical state names, the list of which is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
  • other designations prohibited by law.

It is not allowed to use the words "state" or "municipal" or their derivatives in the name of the organization. However, the name of an educational institution, establishment, or organization may be used in the name of the non-governmental organization with the consent of that educational institution, establishment, or organization.

Our lawyers consult with representatives of the Ministry of Justice in advance on the issue of naming and its compliance with the organization's practice. This ensures the avoidance of problems during registration. We have already handled cases where one non-governmental organization planned to use the name of a well-known public figure, and another organization used a swear word in its name.

The non-governmental organization uses its name from the moment of registration. Changing the name is carried out at the meeting of the highest governing body of the organization by adopting the corresponding decision and making changes to the Unified State Register.

If there is a separate unit, the name of the non-governmental organization must contain the words "separate unit" and indicate its affiliation with a specific non-governmental organization.

You may also like: Understanding the Governing Bodies of Public Organizations and Unions in Ukraine

Basic requirements for the symbolics of a non-governmental organization

The symbols of a non-governmental organization may include a flag or emblem. However, the law provides specific requirements for their use:

  • They must be registered separately
  • They must be approved by the authorized body of the organization in accordance with the charter
  • They must be different from the symbols of other registered non-governmental organizations.

Additionally, the symbol cannot repeat any of the following:

  • State symbols of Ukraine;
  • Other official symbols or signs used by state bodies, authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and local self-government bodies, state and other awards, seals, and signs of these bodies;
  • State coats of arms, flags, or names of other states;
  • Name or image of an individual without properly authenticated written consent;
  • Other symbols and signs that are restricted by law.

Please note! It's important to note that only a registered NGO can have a symbol.

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A step-by-step guide for registering an organization's symbols

If you receive the name of your GO simultaneously with the registration of the required documents, registering your organization's symbols is a separate process altogether. Here are the steps.

Step 1 - Determine the type of symbol: emblem or flag, and prepare its image and description.

The description must contain information about:

  • the colors, scale, and proportions of the symbol's elements
  • the full or abbreviated name of the organization.

Step 2 - Hold meetings/assembly of the authorized body (such as the Board of Directors or General Assembly) and approve the symbols.

The decision to approve the symbols should include:

  • the type of symbol
  • the image of the symbol
  • the description of the symbol.

Step 3 – Prepare a package of documents for the registration of the symbols:

  • an application for the registration of symbols
  • a copy of the organization's charter
  • a decision of the organization's governing body on the approval of the symbols
  • an image of the symbols (flags and/or emblems, text of the anthem and/or motto) in paper and electronic form
  • a description of the symbols in paper and electronic form.

Step 4 – Submit the package of documents to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine for state registration of the symbols.

Please note! The registered NGO has the right to use its symbols from the day of their registration.

Our company provides high-quality services to our clients for opening various types of non-governmental organizations in minimal time. We have developed and tested on practice new charters and protocols that do not cause objections from the justice authorities during the registration process.

If you want to register a non-governmental organization quickly and easily, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Publication date: 14/06/2022

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