SECTION I GENERAL PROVISION
Article 1. Objective of this Law
1.1. This Law regulates the relations concerned with establishment and operation of public organizations and funds.
1.2. In this Law, the term "non-governmental organization" includes public organizations and funds.
1.3. This Law determines the rules for establishment, operations, reestablishment and liquidation of non-governmental organizations, and defines their activities, administration, and relations with government bodies.
1.4. This Law shall not apply to political parties, trade unions, religious organizations, local government bodies and other non-governmental organizations that are regulated by other laws.
Article 2. Non-Governmental Organization
2.1. Public organization a voluntary, self-governed non-governmental organization that is not aimed at profits as major objective, and not distributing generated profit among its members, and that is created upon initiative of several individuals and/or legal entities having common interests, for purposes defined in charter documents of such organization.
2.2. Fund a non-membership non-governmental organization that is founded by several individuals and/or legal entities on the basis of voluntary property shares, and is aimed at social, charitable, cultural, educational and other public activities.
2.3. A non-governmental organization may be established and operated for purposes that are not prohibited by the Constitution and laws of the Azerbaijan Republic.
2.4. A non-governmental organization may not participate in presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections of the Azerbaijan Republic, and it may not provide financial and other material assistance to political parties. Non-governmental organizations (except for non-governmental organizations that receive grants or other types of financing from foreign individuals and legal entities, as well as from Azeri legal entities with more than 30 % foreign share in their charter capital) may observe presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections in accordance with the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic. A non-governmental organization may come up with proposals on improvement of legal and regulatory acts, according to the rules provided by the laws of the Azerbaijan Republic and by its own charter.
Article 3. Name and Residence of Non-Governmental Organization
3.1. A non-governmental organization shall have a name that points out its organizational-legal form and nature of its activities.
3.2. Residence of a non-governmental organization shall be determined by address pointed in its charter.
3.3. If legal address on a non-governmental organization is changed, the written notice in this regard shall be provided to relevant executive authority within not less than 7 days.
SECTION II ORGANIZATIONAL-LEGAL FORMS, TYPES AND PARTICIPANTS OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
Article 4. Organizational-Legal Forms of Non-Governmental Organizations
Non-government organizations may be established in any organizational-legal form.
Article 5. Types of Non-Governmental Organizations
Non-governmental organizations may be established for fundamental reasons, or in order to achieve certain objectives.
Article 6. Area of Operations of Non-Governmental Organizations
6.1. Non-governmental organizations may be established and operated with all-Azerbaijan, regional, and local status. The area of operations shall be independently determined by non-government organization.
6.2. Operations of all-Azerbaijan non-governmental organizations shall apply to the whole territory of the Azerbaijan Republic. Operations of regional non-governmental organizations shall cover two or more administrative-territorial units of the Azerbaijan Republic. Local non-government organizations shall operate within one administrative-territorial unit.
6.3. International non-government organizations public organizations that have area of operations covering the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic and of at least one foreign state.
Article 7. Branches and Representations of Non-Government Organizations
7.1. Registered non-governmental organizations may establish branches and representations in the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic and abroad.
7.2. Branch of a non-governmental organization may be established beyond the place of residence of that organization and may fully or partially carry out such organization's activities.
7.3. Representation of a non-governmental organization shall be established beyond the place of residence of that organization, and shall represent and protect the interests of such organization.
7.4. Branches and representations of non-governmental organization are not legal entities. They receive share of property of an organization that established them and operate in accordance with Regulations approved on behalf of such organization.
7.5. Chiefs of branches and representations shall be appointed by non-governmental organization, and shall operate within the scope of powers given to them by that non-governmental organization.
Article 8. Participants of Non-Governmental Organizations
8.1. The term "participants of public organizations" shall refer to their founders, members and assistants. The term "participants of funds" shall refer to their founders and assistants.
8.2. Under-age members of a public organization shall have rights and responsibilities in accordance with the civil legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic.
8.3. Foreigners and stateless persons may become participants of non-governmental organizations operating in the Azerbaijan Republic.
Article 9. Founders of Non-Governmental Organizations
9.1. Legal entities (except for state and local government bodies) and individuals, who reached the age of 18 (16 for founders of public youth organizations), may become founders of non-governmental organizations.
9.2. Founders of non-governmental organizations shall have equal rights. The scope of their mutual rights and obligations shall be regulated by:
- foundation contract (if contract is signed) - in respect to foundation of a non-governmental organization; and
- charter - in respect to participation in operations of a non-governmental organization.
Article 10. Members of Public Organizations
10.1. Any individual and legal entity (except for state and local government bodies) in the Azerbaijan Republic may become a member of a public organization.
10.2. Members of a public organization shall have equal rights. They may:
- elect and be elected to management bodies of public organizations;
- participate in operations of public organizations;
- supervise operations of management bodies of public organizations
- exercise other rights provided by charters of public organizations.
Members of public organizations shall as well follow requirements stipulated in charters of public organizations.
10.3. Issues of acquiring and termination of membership of a public organization shall be determined by its charter. Charter of a public organization shall guarantee the right to lodge complaint within the organization and in court regarding termination of membership.
Article 11. Assistants of Non-Governmental Organizations
The term "assistants of non-governmental organizations" shall refer to individuals and legal entities (except for state and local government bodies) that support a non-governmental organization by:
- participating in operations of such non-governmental organization; and
- by providing various assistance or services to such non-governmental organization without formalizing - from organizational point of view - their own relations with that non-governmental organization.
Existence and legal status of assistants shall be determined by foundation documents of a non-governmental organization.
SECTION III CREATION, REESTABLISHMENT AND LIQUIDATION OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
Article 12. Creation of Non-Governmental Organizations
12.1 A non-governmental organization may be created as a result of foundation of such organization, as well as reestablishment of existing non-governmental organization.
12.2 In foundation of a non-governmental organization its creation shall be implemented by decision of a founder (founders). In this case, foundation meeting shall be summoned and charter of an organization shall be adopted.
Article 13. Charter of Non-Governmental Organization
13.1 Charter of a non-governmental organization shall define:
- name and address of organization;
- objectives of operation and method of management;
- rights and responsibilities of members;
- conditions and rules for joining and leaving the membership of public organization;
- sources for formation of property of a non-governmental organization;
- rules for adoption of the charter, and for making changes and additions to it;
- rules for liquidation of a non-governmental organization, and for utilization of its property in case of liquidation.
13.2 Charter of a fund shall include information about:
- its name with the word "Fund" in it;
- bodies, including Custody Board, as well as rules for establishment of those bodies;
- rules for appointment and dismissal of fund officials;
- future of a fund's property in case of liquidation.
Article 14. Making Changes to the Charter of Non-Governmental Organization
14.1. Changes to the charter of a public organization may be made by decision of its supreme management body. Changes to the charter of a fund may be made by its Custody Board, and only in direction toward objectives of that fund.
14.2. Custody Board of a fund may change that fund's charter only if the charter provides for possibility of changing it in such manner. If keeping the charter of a fund unchanged leads to results that have not been envisaged in advance, at the time of establishment of that fund, and if the charter does not provide for possibility of changes or has not been changed by charter empowered officials, then the right to make changes to such charter shall belong to court according to application by that fund's Custody Board.
14.3. State registration of changes to the charter of a non-governmental organization shall be registered by relevant executive authority. Changes to the charter of a non-governmental organization shall become effective from the moment they are registered.
Article 15. Notice of Establishment of Public Organization
15.1. Notice of establishment of a public organization shall be presented to relevant executive authority in a written form, not later than 30 days from the moment when decision on establishment of such public organization is adopted.
15.2. On the day when the relevant executive authority receives the notice of establishment of a public organization it shall hand acknowledgement of receipt of the notice to a representative of that public organization or send it by mail.
Article 16. State Registration of Non-Governmental Organization
16.1. State registration of non-governmental organizations shall be carried out by relevant executive authority, in accordance with the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic on registration of legal entities.
16.2. A non-governmental organization shall receive the status of legal entity only after it passes state registration.
Article 17. Rejection of State Registration
17.1. State registration of non-governmental organizations may be rejected only if:
- there is another non-governmental organization exiting under the same name; or
- documents submitted for state registration contradict the Constitution, this Law, and other laws of the Azerbaijan Republic, or contain false information.
17.2. Decision on rejection of state registration of a non-governmental organization shall be submitted to a representative of that non-governmental organization in a written form, pointing out reasons for rejection, as well as provisions and paragraphs of legislation that have been violated in preparation of foundation documents.
17.3. Rejection of state registration of a non-governmental organization shall not be an obstacle for resubmission of documents for state registration after deficiencies are eliminated.
17.4. Complaint regarding decision to reject state registration of a non-governmental organization may be lodged in court.
Article 18. Termination of Operations of Non-Governmental Organization
Operations of a non-governmental organization shall be terminated through reestablishment of that non-governmental organization (merger, joining, splitting, separation, transformation), or through its liquidation.
Article 19. Reestablishment of Non-Governmental Organization
19.1. A non-governmental organization may be reestablished in a manner provided by this law. Reestablishment of a non-governmental organization may be carried out through decree of a body that is empowered by founders or by the charter of that non-governmental organization.
19.2. Reestablishment of a non-governmental organization may be carried out in the form of merger, joining, splitting, separation, and transformation.
19.3. Reestablishment of a non-governmental organization, in case if other organization merges with or joins it, shall be counted from the moment when a relevant executive authority makes an entry in the state register about terminating operations of one of these organizations.
19.4. Establishment of a non-governmental organization as a result of separation or splitting shall be counted from the moment when a relevant executive authority makes an entry in the state register of legal entities about separation of one them, or about terminating operations of organization to be split and establishment of new non-governmental organizations.
19.5. Establishment of a non-government organization by way of transformation shall be counted from the moment when a relative executive authority makes an entry in the state register of legal entities about liquidation of existing organization and establishment of a new organization on its basis.
19.5. After reestablishment of a non-governmental organization, all issues concerned with legal inheritance shall be dealt in a manner provided by the Civil Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.
Article 20. Liquidation of Non-Governmental Organization
A non-governmental organization may be liquidated in a manner provided by the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic on registration of legal entities.
Article 21. Property of Liquidated Non-Governmental Organization
All property issues concerned with liquidation of a non-governmental organization shall be dealt in a manner provided by the Civil Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.
SECTION IV ACTIVITIES OF NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS
Article 22. Types of Activities of Non-Governmental Organization
22.1. A non-governmental organization may carry out any type of activity that is not prohibited by the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic and does not contradict objectives provided in the charter of the non-governmental organization.
22.2. A non-governmental organization may carry out entrepreneurship activity that is aimed only at reaching objectives of creation of that organization, without distribution of generated income among founders (members). Production and sales of profitable goods, as well as acquisition of securities and property and non-property rights, and acting as depositor with economic agents and partnerships shall be accepted as types of such activities corresponding to objectives of creation of a non-governmental organization.
22.3. A non-governmental organization shall keep record of income and expenditures related with its entrepreneurship activities. Restriction per each type of activity a non-governmental organization can be engaged with shall be determined only by law.
Article 23. Property of Non-Governmental Organization
23.1. A non-governmental organization may own or run the types of property that are not prohibited by the legislation.
23.2. A non-governmental organization shall be liable for its commitments with its property. 23.3. This property may be alienated only in accordance with laws of the Azerbaijan Republic. Property of a fund shall comprise the property contributed by its founders (founder). A person (legal entity) that contributes property to a fund after it is established shall not gain a right of founder. Founders shall not be liable for commitments of the fund, which they created, as well as the fund shall not be liable for commitments of its founders.
Article 24. Source of Forming the Property of Non-Governmental Organization
24.0. Property of a non-governmental organization in cash and other forms shall be raised from the following sources:
24.0.1. regular or single-time membership fees by founders or members of public organizations;
24.0.2. voluntary property shares and donations;
24.0.3. receipts from sales of goods, provision of works and services;
24.0.4. dividends and revenues generated from shares, bonds, other securities and savings;
24.0.5. income generated as a result of use or sales of its own property;
24.0.7. other income not prohibited by the legislation
SECTION V MANAGEMENT OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
Article 25. Principles of Management of Public Organization
25.1. Charter of a public organization shall in accordance with this law and other laws define the structure and composition of that public organization, the powers of its management bodies, rules for establishment of such bodies, and their term in office, as well as the rules for adoption of decrees and acting on behalf of the public organization.
25.2. Supreme management body of a public organization shall be the general meeting to be summoned not less than once a year.
25.3. The general meeting shall be summoned upon initiative by executive body of a public organization, by one of its founders, or by 1/3 of its members.
25.4. The main function of the general meeting is to follow objectives it is concerned with.
25.5. The following issues shall refer to the scope of powers of the general meeting:
25.5.1. adoption of the charter of a public organization, and making changes and additions to it;
25.5.2. determination of principles for formation and use of property of a public organization;
25.5.3. creation of executive bodies of a public organization and premature termination of their powers;
25.5.4. adoption of annual report;
25.5.5. participation in other organizations;
25.5.6. reestablishment and liquidation of a public organization.
25.6. Founders and members of a public organization shall receive information about place and time of the general meeting at least 2 weeks in advance. The general meeting may make changes to the charter only if more than a half of members of a public organization participate in the meeting. Decree of the general meeting shall be adopted by majority of votes of the members participating in the meeting. Each member shall have one vote.
25.7. Written minutes shall be kept at the general meeting. The minutes shall be signed by chairman and secretary of the general meeting. If necessary, the minutes of the meeting shall be distributed to all members.
Article 26. Executive Body of Public Organization
26.1. Executive body of a public organization may be collegial and/or single. The executive body shall exercise current management of operations of a public organization, and shall report to the supreme management body of the organization.
26.2. Executive body of a public organization shall establish branches and representations of that public organization.
26.3. Executive body of a public organization shall deal with all of the issues that do not refer to exclusive powers determined by this law, other laws, and charter of that public organization.
Article 27. Management of a Fund
27.1. Management of a fund shall be carried out by the president of that fund or its governing board.
27.2. CustodyBoard is a supervisory body of a fund. The Custody Board shall:
- supervise activities of the fund;
- supervise adoption of decrees by other bodies of the fund, as well as implementation of such decrees;
- supervise utilization of the fund's means;
- adopt changes to the fund's charter;
- adopt decrees on liquidation or reestablishment of the fund.
The Custody Board shall implement its activities in accordance with public principles.
27.3. Rules for establishment and operations of the Custody Board of a fund shall be determined in the charter of that fund approved by its founders.
SECTION VI NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND GOVERNMENT BODIES
Article 28. Relations Between Government Bodies and Non-Governmental Organizations
28.1. All government bodies shall protect the rights of non-governmental organizations. Non-governmental organizations shall have right to independently carry out their activities within the framework of the legislation. Government bodies may provide financial and other aid to non-governmental organizations.
Article 29. Supervision of Non-Governmental Organization
29.1. A non-government organization shall maintain accounting in accordance with the legislation.
29.2. Information about amount and structure of income of a non-governmental organization, as well as information about its property, expenses, number of staff, and salaries shall not be a state or commercial secret.
29.3. Fund shall be obliged to publish annual reports about use of its property.
Article 30. Tax Privileges Used by Non-Governmental Organizations
Non-government organizations that passed state registration shall use the tax privileges provided in the Tax Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.
SECTION VII FINAL PROVISIONS
Article 31. Responsibilities of Non-Government Organization
31.1. In case of violation of requirements arising from provisions of this law, a non-governmental organization shall bear responsibility in accordance with the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic.
31.2. In case if taken actions contradict the objectives of this law, the relevant executive authority may warn a non-governmental organization in a written form or instruct it to eliminate the violations.
31.3. A non-governmental organization shall have right to lodge complaint about such warning or instruction in court.
31.4. If a non-governmental organization is given a written warning or instruction to eliminate violations for more than two times within one year, such non-governmental organization may be liquidated by court decision.
Article 32. Re-registration of Previously Registered Non-Governmental Organizations
Non-governmental organizations that passed registration before enactment of this law shall be entered into the state register of legal entities by the relevant executive authority.
Article 33. Enactment of this Law
This Law shall become effective from the day it is published.
The President of the Azerbaijan Republic
Baku city, June 13, 2000
This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.