How to Start a Nonprofit Organization in Rwanda

Cersai Stark

Cersai Stark

NPOs (Nonprofit Organizations) in Rwanda are defined as organizations that operate outside of governmental control and advance social or political objectives. Hence, when figuring out how to start a nonprofit, the organizational structure must be taken into account. This is because it determines how the NPO operates to a large extent. 

In this article, we will walk you through the process of how to start a nonprofit organization in Rwanda.


How to start a nonprofit
How to start a nonprofit


  • Individuals seeking how to start a nonprofit must be concerned with improving society and mankind
  • Nonprofits can apply to the Rwanda Development Board to obtain tax breaks.


What are some of the preregistration tips to consider?

To begin with, Rwanda has distinct NPO structures. Hence, an organization is required to choose the legal structure suitable for its operation. One such type of nonprofit is a foundation. Basically, the purpose of a foundation is to create a fund or collect funds to manage them and use them to support people or causes. This includes beneficiaries, common interest organizations, which act in a particular domain in favor of their members, or public interest organizations, which serve shared interests.

All in all, the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) is the organization in charge of overseeing NPOs in Rwanda.

What are the guidelines on how to start a nonprofit in Rwanda? 

Individuals seeking how to officially incorporate their nonprofit organization can begin by following this step-by-step guide.

1. Register for an Irembo account

Evidently, you will require an Irembo portal account to register your NPO. For new users, visit the portal to create an account for your organization.

2. Compile the necessary documents 

Go ahead and obtain the necessary paperwork for registration. This is to guide you through each process in your journey on how to start a nonprofit.

In general, you will require notarized copies of the general assembly’s minutes and membership roster. You can also download the notarized declaration form, which must be filled out by the legal representative or deputy. Also, obtain a cooperation letter from the district of operation. Another necessary document for incorporation is a criminal history report given by the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA).

3. Register your nonprofit 

The Irembo portal is also the link for registration. Firstly, log in with your account and complete the forms online. To clarify, all applications must be submitted to the Rwanda Governance Board by uploading the necessary paperwork (RGB). Afterward, you can pay the required amount, and RGB will verify your application before sending you an SMS or email confirmation.

International NPOs on the other hand must apply for a registration certificate from the Directorate General of Immigration. Altogether, the NPO must compile documentation such as the organization’s statutes, operation authorization, mission objectives, budgets, etc.

4. File for Tax Exempt Status

Nonprofits can apply to the Rwanda Development Board to obtain tax breaks. Particularly, tax exemptions are granted to humanitarian and charity organizations. Tax exemptions also apply to funds assigned for societal benefits.


Individuals seeking how to start a nonprofit must be concerned with improving society and mankind. Globally, NPOs have become major channels to advance national and societal growth and development. Even more, these entities have the potential to impact hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of lives. Therefore, the goal when starting an NPO should be to offer long-term impactful support in society. 

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