Types of Nonprofits in Trinidad and Tobago

On June 14, 2019, the Nonprofit Organization Act of Trinidad and Tobago was enacted. This new implementation prohibits the operation of the various types of nonprofits in the country unless they are registered under the Act.

In this article, we will consider the various types of nonprofits in Trinidad and Tobago and their operations. 

 

Types of nonprofits
Types of nonprofits

 

  • The types of nonprofits in Trinidad and Tobago must be registered with the government to begin operation.
  • Diverse classes of voluntary, autonomous, cultural, environmental, or social associations coexist together.┬á

 

What are the types of nonprofits in Trinidad and Tobago?

Trinidad and Tobago recognizes three nonprofit classes. Likewise, these entities are each governed by an Act.

1. Company Limited by Guarantee 

The Companies Act regulates these types of nonprofits. A company limited by guarantee also has bylaws that entail rules of operation. Among such rules is that each member agrees to contribute to the assets of the company if it is dissolved. 

The contribution is to assist with the payment of the company’s incurred debts and liabilities. This also includes the costs, charges, and expenses of winding up as well as the adjustment of the contributor’s rights among themselves.┬á

Likewise, a company limited by guarantee has the ability, rights, powers, and privileges of an individual. This also includes the authority to hold lands in any location, whether it be Trinidad and. Tobago or elsewhere.

2. Co-operative Societies 

The Co-operative Societies Act governs these types of nonprofits. These entities comprise credit union societies and agricultural credit societies. However, cooperative societies must first register under the Act before they can be recognized as cooperative or credit union societies. 

A society is founded to promote the development of the economic welfare of its members. This is carried out in accordance with cooperative principles. 

Furthermore, a society may be founded with or without limited liability, unless the Minister instructs differently in a general or specific order.

Every society’s name must contain the word “cooperative.” Also, every society with limited liability must end its name with the word “limited.” The Commissioner for Co-operative Development is responsible for overseeing the operations of societies.

3. Friendly Societies 

Friendly Societies in Trinidad and Tobago are governed by the Friendly Societies Act. Since the early 19th century, these types of nonprofits have existed in the country.

Friendly Societies provide for the relief or maintenance of their members. This also includes their husbands, wives, children, fathers, mothers, brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, or wards being orphans. This form of assistance is given to aid members during sickness or other infirmities, whether bodily or mental, in old age. It should be noted that these various services are undertaken through the voluntary subscriptions of the members, with or without the assistance of donations. 

Also, these Societies provide options for savings, medical plans, land acquisition, loans, and other financial services. Aids are also made available to community members in the areas of health care, insurance, and general welfare.

What does the new Nonprofit Organization Act 2019 entail?

According to the 2019 NPO Act, the various types of nonprofits must be registered with the government of Trinidad and Tobago to operate in the country. Whoever violates this rule commits an offense. This entails a fine of $50,000 and a seven-year jail sentence upon being found guilty on an indictment. 

Furthermore, before receiving its Certificate of Non-Profit Organization Registration, the non-profit must submit the registration information outlined in the NPO Act. The Registrar General’s Department e-Filings Service must be used to register non-profit organizations online.

Likewise, a qualified auditor must annually audit and report on the financial accounts and records of nonprofits whose gross annual income exceeds $10 million. Upon completion of an audit of a non-financial profit’s records and accounts, the auditor submits his report to a controller of the organization.

Conclusion 

In Trinidad and Tobago, there are various autonomous, self-organized groups, associations, and organizations spread across the nation. Also, a large number of citizens are known to trust these entities. Nonprofits stand out for their pluralistic nature which is reflected in the diversity of the organizations. Diverse kinds of voluntary, autonomous, cultural, environmental, or social associations can coexist together.  

The various types of nonprofits in the country work to reduce poverty, support ill and underprivileged children, encourage women’s empowerment, and promote gender equality and justice.┬á

If you enjoyed reading this article, please share your comments and suggestions with us at the bottom of this post. 

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