Decree 14 on Civil Associations

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Sultani Decree No. 14/2000
Issuing the Civil Associations Law

Sultanate of Oman

We, Qaboos bin Said, Sultan of Oman

After examining the basic law of the state issued by the Sultani Decree no. 101/96,

And the law regulating clubs and associations in the Sultanate issued in January 1972,

And taking into consideration the public interests,

have issued the following decree:

Article (1)

The attached Civil Associations Law shall enter into force.

Article (2)

The law regulating clubs and associations in the Sultanate referred to above and any
provisions violating the provi sions of this law or contradicting them shall be
cancelled.

Article (3)

This decree shall be published in the Official Gazette. It shall enter into force as of
the date of publishing it.

Qaboos bin Said

Sultan of Oman

Issued on: 7 Thu al-Qi’da 1420 AH

Corresponding to: 6 February 2000

Civil Associations Law

Chapter One

Definitions and General Provisions

Article (1)

In applying the provisions of this law, the following words, wherever they appear in
this Law, shall have the meanings assigned to them herein below, unless the context
otherwise indicates:

The Ministry: Ministry of Social Affairs, Labour & Vocational Training

The Minister: The Minister of Social Affairs, Labour & Vocational Training

The Association: Any permanent group of natural persons organized to achieve
purposes other than profit making and aiming at performing
social , cultural or charitable activities. This includes
associations, social and cultura l clubs established by private
institutions, companies or organizat ions, regardless of name given
to them, even if physical sports are among their activities, unless
sports are the main activity of the association or the club.

Article (2)

The provision of this law shall not apply to associations and cultural and artistic clubs
registered under special laws.

Article (3)

The Ministry of Social Affairs, Labour & Vocational Training shall be the
administrative body responsible for associations.

Article (4)

The fields of activities of associations are as follows:

1. Providing care for the orphans
2. Child and mother care
3. Women’s services
4. Care for old aged people
5. Care for handicapped and people with special needs
6. Any other fields or activities the Mini ster proposes to add after obtaining the
approval of the Council of Ministers.

No association shall undertake more than one activity without the prior approval of
the Minister.

Article (5)

Associations shall not be allowed to interfere in politics, to form political parties or to
interfere in religious issues. They shall stay away of tribal and political sects. They
shall not practice the following:

a. Any activity other than that specified in their basic law;
b. They shall not participate or join an association, commission or club based
outside the country without the pr ior approval of the Minister;
c. Hold public festivals or public lectures without obtaining a prior permission
from the Ministry;
d. Allow gambling or alcohol in their premises.

Chapter Two

The Establishment of Associations

Article (6)

Any association shall have a written bylaw signed by the founding members. The
number of founding members shall not be less than 20.

Any association shall have offices well equipped to practice its activities.

Article (7)

The bylaws of associations shall contain the following information:

a. The name of the association, its aims, means to achieve the aims, geographic
scope of its activities, the center of it s management which shall be located in
the Sultanate of Oman. No association sh all name itself with a name that could
be confused with another association. No association shall give itself a
foreign name.
b. The names of the Founding members, their titles, their age, their nationality,
their religion, their profession, and their place of residency;
c. The financial resources of the association, means of utilizing and using these
resources and the beginning and end of th e financial year of the association;
d. The governing bodies of the association, the competencies of each, means of
selecting members and of removing them or means of terminating
membership, the quorum of the general assembly and the board of directors
and quorum for the legitim acy of their decisions.
e. The name of the persons who represent the association;
f. Conditions of membership and the right s and duties of members especially
with regard to attending the meetings of the general assembly and voting in
these meetings; the age of the members shall not be less than 18 years old and
they shall not be convicted of a crim e or a felony of honor of dignity unless
their rights have been restored;
g. Procedures for internal financial auditing;

h. Procedures for amending the bylaws of the association, its merging, its
divisions and procedures for establishing branches;
i. Procedures for dissolving voluntarily of the association and the party to whom
shall the assets of the associa tion go in case of dissolving it.

Article (8)

The bylaws of the association shall not state any name of any association to whom its
assets shall be transferred to if such an a ssociation is not registered according to the
provisions of this law.

The assets of the association may not be tr ansferred to any other association working
in a different field without the prior approval of the Minister.
Article (9)

The founding members shall elect from among th emselves the first board of directors
for a term of one year. The board shall authorize from among its members a person or
more to act on its behalf in conducting the registration procedures. The registration
application shall be submitted to the Minist ry stating the location of the association
together with copies of the following doc uments signed by the president of the board
and the coordinator:

1. List of founding members’ names and a lis t of the board of directors names.
The lists shall contain the names, titles , age, profession, nationality, place of
residency and religion of members.
2. Minutes of meeting of the founding board
3. Minutes of meetings of the first board of directors
4. The decision of the board to authorize the person in charge of registration
5. The bylaws of the association

A certificate issued by concerned bodies stating that there is no objection on any
member of the founding members shall be attached to the above documents.

Article (10)

The Ministry shall register the associati on by registering its bylaw in the special
register for this purpose. A summary of the bylaw shall be published free of charge in
the official gazette. The association sha ll have its legal personality upon publishing
its registration in the official gazette.

Article (11)

The Ministry shall have the right to refrain from regist ering any society if it deems
that the society does not need its services or in case there are other associations
fulfilling the needs of the society with re gard to the requested activity of the
association. It may refrain from register ing an association in case its registration
violates the security of the state or its welf are or for any other reasons according to the
decision of the Ministry.

The applicant shall be notified by registered mail of the denial decision. The decision
shall be justified and those affected by the decision shall have the right to complain to
the Minister during one month as of the date of receiving the denial notification
referred to above. The decision of the Mini ster shall be considered as final.

Article (12)

Provisions of articles 10 and 11 shall apply on any amendment to the bylaws of the
association.

Article (13)

No association shall have property rights or any other rights of real estate other than
the necessary rights to achieve the aims its was established to achieve without a prior
permission of the Minister.

Article (14)

No branches shall be established and the location of the association shall not be
changed without the prior approval of the Mi nister. The request to open branches or
to change the premises shall be submitted to the Ministry at least 30 days prior to any
action.

Article (15)

The association shall keep th e following records and books:

1. A register of the names of members and their membership fees
2. Minutes of meetings of the board of directors and the general assembly
3. Accounting books recording the income a nd the costs and donations together
with supporting documents.
4. Any other books or registers the Ministry deems necessary to be kept at the
premises of the association.

Article (16)

The name of the association, its addre ss and its registration number shall be
mentioned in all books and records and on the printed materials of the association.

Article (17)

The associations shall be unde r the supervision of the Ministry. This supervision
includes monitoring the activities of the association and ensuring their compliance
with the laws, bylaws of the association a nd the decisions of the general assembly.
The supervision shall be made by investigator s to be assigned by the Minister for this
purpose. They shall have the right to ente r the premises of the association and to
examine their registers, books, documents and correspondences.
Chapter Three
The General Assembly
Article (18)

The general assembly shall be formed of all members who paid their due amounts
according to the basic law of the associati on and who have been members for at least
six month with the excepti on of the first meeting.

Article (19)

The general assembly shall convene upon an invitation by the board of directors or a
written request submitted to the board by a number not less of third of the members of
the general assembly who have the right to attend the meeting or by an invitation by
the Ministry. It shall conve ne at the premises of the association. The board may
specify another place for the convening of the general assembly meeting. The place
shall be specified in the invitation letter.

Article (20)

The agenda of the meeting shall be attached to the invitation letter to attend the
general assembly meeting. The meeting sh all not look into matters not listed on the
agenda without the approval of the number of members stated in article (19).

Article (21)

The ordinary general assembly shall convene once every year within a period of three
months as of the end of the financial year of the association to look into the following:

1. The report of the board of directors on the activities of the ended year and the
action plan of the coming year;
2. The general budget and final accounts of the ended year and the draft budget
of the coming year;
3. The report of the auditor;
4. Election of a new board and filling vacant seats
5. Assigning the auditor and specifying his remuneration in compliance with the
state financial auditing law
6. Any other issues deemed necessary by the board.

Article (22)

The general assembly may convene to look into the following matters:

1. amending the bylaws of the association;
2. The termination of the membership of some or all board members and
replacing them;
3. The merger of the association with a nother association working in the same
field of activity;
4. Dissolving the association if it becomes in competent to achieve its aims or the
aims of its members; if it becomes unable to fulfill its financial commitments;
if it uses its financial means for aims other than those it was established to
fulfill; if it commits a huge violation to th e provisions of this law or its internal
bylaws.
5. To annul one of the decisions of the board of directors.

6. Other important and urgent issues the Mini ster may deem necessary to discuss.

A decision by the Minister shall be issued in case of merging the association or
dissolving it.

Article (23)

The Minister shall be informed of each meeting of the general assembly at least 15
day prior to the meeting by a written notifica tion to be sent to the Minister together
with the agenda of the mee ting and related papers and documents. The Ministry may
assign whoever it deems necessa ry to attend the meeting.

Article (24)

A member may authorize another member to attend the general assembly meeting on
his behalf according to the bylaws of the association. A member may not represent
more than one member in the general assembly meeting.

Article (25)

The general assembly meeting shall not be considered legal if not attended by the
absolute majority of its members. If this number is not attained, the meeting shall be
postponed. The second meeting shall be held within a period of 15 days as of the day
of the first meeting according to the bylaws of the association.

The second meeting shall be legal if atte nded by a number not less than 10% of the
members.

Article (26)

The decisions of the ordinary general a ssembly shall be issued by the absolute
majority of attending members. The decisi ons of the extraordinary general assembly
shall be issued by the majority of its me mbers unless the bylaws of the association
requires a higher majority.

Article (27)

A member of the general assembly may not pa rticipate in the discussions or voting on
issues presented for discussion if he has a personal interest or relation with issues
under discussion, with the excep tion of the elections of the board of directors.

Article (28)

The Ministry shall be informed of the results of the meeting and a copy of the minutes
of the meeting shall be sent to the Ministry within 15 days as of the date of the
meeting. The minutes shall contain the d ecisions taken in the general assembly
meeting.

Chapter Four
The Board of Directors

Article (29)

Every association shall have a board of directors. The members of the board shall not
be less than five or more than 12 members. The term of the board shall be two years.

The board of directors shall handle the affairs of the association and shall be
responsible for its activities.

Article (30)

A board member of an association may not become a board member of another
association working in the same field without a prior approval from the Minister or
the person authorized by him. A board member may not work for a wage in the
association.

Article (31)

The Ministry may assign a representative to attend the board meeting and to give his
opinion regarding an issue of public interest he deems necessary to be discussed. The
representative shall have the right to discuss the issue of concern but shall not have
the right to vote on it.

Article (32)

The Ministry shall be informed of the result s of the board meeting and its decisions by
sending a copy of the minutes to the Ministry within a period of 15 days as of the date
of each meeting.

Article (33)

The Minister shall have the right to annul the decisions of a board meeting if the
meetings convenes in violation to this law or the bylaws of the association. He may
annul a decision issued by the board in case this decision is controversial without
annulling the remaining decisions. In this case, other decisions remain valid. The
board of directors shall be informed of the decision within a period of maximum one
month as of the date of notifying the Minist ry with the minutes of meetings of the
board and the decisions issued at the m eeting. Otherwise, the meeting and its
decisions shall be valid.

Article (34)

The Minister, by a justified decision, may a ssign a temporary director for a period of
not more than two years, or a temporary board of directors to handle the affairs of the
association in one of the following cases:

1. If the number of the board members beco mes less than the number needed for
the proper convening of the board;

2. If the general assembly does not conven e for two consecutive years without an
excuse acceptable by the Minister.
3. If the board commits violations that require such a procedure and after
notifying the board in writing with the importance of correcting the situation
and the elapse of one month without taking any corrective measures.

Article (35)

The board of directors and those responsible for its activities shall deliver to the new
director or board, the moment they are assigned, all the assets of the association, its
records and its documentation. Such handing over shall not release the board or the
responsible persons from thei r responsibility for any violation that has taken place.

Article (36)

The director of the temporary board sha ll handle the affairs of the association
according to the competencies of the board. He shall call the general assembly to
convene after the expiry of the period specified in the assignment decision and submit
a report of the state of affairs of the asso ciation. The general assembly shall elect a
new board of directors at the same session.

Chapter Five
The Finances of the Association

Article (37)

The finances of the association consist of:

1. Membership fees
2. Donations, grants and endowments (with the prior approval of the Minister)
3. Money collected from activities.
4. Government donations
5. Other revenues (with the prior approval of the Minister)

Article (38)

Every association shall have an annual budge t and final accounts. If the expenditures
of the association are above 10 thousand riya ls, the board of directors must submit the
accounts to an authorized auditor together with supporting documentation for auditing
and to submit a report on the accounts at least one month before the convening of the
general assembly in its annual meeting. A copy of the final accounts, the general
budget, the report of the auditor and the repor t of the board shall be attached to the
invitation letter to the ge neral assembly meeting.

Article (39)

The association shall deposit its cash money in its name at one of the certified banks
in Oman. It shall notify the Mini stry with the name of the bank.

Article (40)

The association shall spend its funds to achieve its purposes. The board of directors,
upon the approval of the Minister, may utilize the surplus amounts to ensure a
constant source of income for the associati on given that this source does not affect the
activities of the association.

Article (41)

The association may not get involv ed in financial predictions.

Article (42)

No association shall be allowed to receive funds from a foreign person or a foreign
foundation. It may not transfer funds to a foreign person or foundation without the
prior approval of the Minister with the exception of amounts to pay the prices of
equipment and tools necessary for the association to practice its activities and the
prices of books and printed material on th e condition that these materials comply to
the publications law.

Article (43)

The fixed and transferable assets of the asso ciation are the property of the association.
No member shall have a right to this property. The removed member, the resigned
member, and the member whose membership has terminated for any reason may not
claim any amount of the funds of the association.

Article (44)

The association may not collect funds from the public or hold festivals and charitable
markets except for the purpose of achieving their aims. They may not do so without a
prior permission and license from the Minister.

The Minister shall issue a decision specifyi ng the rules and procedures for giving such
a license.

Article (45)

The Ministry may assign amounts in its budge t to grant assistance to associations
registered according to the provision of th is law and according to rules and conditions
specified by the Ministry with this regar d. Among the bases for granting assistance
for associations are:

1. The extent to which the association n eeds assistance to furnish its offices;
2. The extent of assistance the associa tion needs to achieve its aims and to
implement its activities;
3. The extent to which the association c ontributes to humanitarian services
related to its activities;
4. If the association implements a social or a cultural project serving the social
aims;

5. The periodic reports prepared by th e Ministry on the activities of the
association and the extent the association comply to this law, its executive
procedures and to its internal bylaw.

Chapter Six

Merging the Association and Dissolving it

Article (46)

The Minister may decide to merge one associ ation or more working in the same field
of activity in one association in order to coordinate services provided by these
associations or for any other reasons the Minister sees as achieving the purpose of the
association. The Minister sh all issue a justified decision of merging specifying the
procedures for merging. He shall notify th e concerned association with the merging
decision when such decision is issued.

The board of directors of the associati on which a merging decision has been taken
with its regard and its empl oyees shall not have the right to take any procedure or
decision related to the affairs of the association the moment they are notified of the
merging decision. They shall hand over th e fixed and transferable assets of the
association and its documentation and special records to the association which they
merged in.

Article (47)

The association may be dissolved by a justified decision to be taken by the Minister in
the following cases:

1. If it proves unable to achi eve the purposes and aims it was established to
achieve;
2. If it spends it funds for reasons othe r than those specified in its aims;
3. If the general assembly does not c onvene for two consecutive years;
4. If the association commits a huge violation to this law, or its regulations or if it
violates the public order and norms.

The association shall be notified of the dissolving decision in writing. The decision
shall be published in the official gazette.

Article (48)

The responsible persons of the association in which a dissolving decision has been
taken against it and its employees shall not be permitted to perform any act or to use
the funds of the association the moment th ey are notified of the dissolving decision.

Article (49)

When the association is dissolved a liquidator shall be assigned for certain fees to be
specified by the Ministry. Those responsible for the association shall deliver to the

liquidator all documents and special records of the association upon his request.
Those responsible for the association, the bank and the employees of the association
may not be allowed to use any of the funds of the association without a written order
from the liquidator.

After liquidation, the liquidat or shall distribute the remaining amounts according to
the provisions of the intern al bylaws of the association. When there are no such
provisions, the Minister sha ll channel the amounts to a sim ilar association or to more
than one association registered according to the provisions of this law.

Article (50)

Those who prove to be responsible for the vi olations that led to the dissolving of the
association may not be allowed to nominate themselves for the membership of the
board of any other association for a period of 5 years as of the date of issuing the
dissolving decision.

Chapter Seven

Associations of Public Purposes

Article (51)

Associations of public purpos es are those established to achieve public welfare. A
decision from the Minister shall be issu ed, with the approval of the Council of
Ministers, to consider an association as an association of public purpose.

Article (52)

The Council of Ministers shall issue a decision stating privileges of public purpose
associations.

Article (53)

An association of public purpose may be a ssigned to manage a social organization
under the supervision of the Ministry. It may implement one of its social projects
according to the rules and conditions stated in the decision of the Minister for each
such case separately.

Chapter Eight

Penalties
Article (54)

Not contradicting any severer penalty stated in the Omani criminal law or any other
law, a person who commits any of the following violations shall be punished by 6
months of imprisonment and of a fine not exceeding 500 riyals or by both penalties:

1. Any person who writes, submits, or holds back a record or book the law
obliges him to issue, submit or hold b ack knowing that such contain incorrect

information; any person who intentionally gives information to an
unauthorized body, or hide information he should submit according to the law.
2. Any person who starts an activity prior to the registration of the association;
3. Any person who performs an activity viol ating the purpose of the association;
any person who spends its funds on activit ies that do not achieve the purposes
of the association; any person who perf orms financial speculations with the
funds of the association;
4. Any person who allows other members whose names are not registered in the
records of the association to participate in the management of the association
or in the discussions of the general assembly;
5. Any person who continues to participat e in the activities of a dissolved
association or dispose of its funds after being notified of the dissolving
decision. Those responsible for the asso ciation and its employees shall be
considered as notified of the dissolvin g decision upon informing the board of
directors of the decision and upon publis hing the decision in the official
gazette.
6. Any liquidator who distributes the f unds of the association against the
provisions of this law or the provisions of the dissolving decision.
7. Any person who collects donations or accepts grants in violation of the
provisions of this law. A decision may be taken to confiscate amounts
collected by the Ministry to sp end it on charitable actions.
8. Any person from among the board of directors, the manager or the employees
who refuses to hand over the funds, documents and books of the association to
be merged to the association in whic h it has merged with or any person who
refuses to hand over such to th e temporary manager of board.

Article (55)

Without contradicting the provisions of article (54) above, any person who violates
the provisions of this law or its executive procedures shall be puni shed by a fine of
not more than 50 riyals.

Article (56)

The board of directors and the manager of the association, elected or assigned, shall
be punished by penalties stated in article (5 5) if above violations were committed due
to their negligence or carelessne ss in performing their duties.

Article (57)

The board of directors and the manager of the association, elected, assigned, or
authorized, shall be personally held respons ible for the compensation of all financial
damage of the association resulting from violating their duties with their own
financial means.

Article (58)

The Ministry may close the main offices of th e association or any of its branches for a
certain period of time to be specified by th e Minister as a temporary procedure until a

temporary manager or board are assigned or until a merging or and dissolving
decisions are taken.

Article (59)

Without contradicting the provisions of article (2), the provisions of this law shall
apply to all existing associations when this law is issued. All associations shall
amend their bylaws and submit registration ap plications according to the provisions of
this law within a period of 6 months as of the date this law enters into force.
Otherwise, the association shall be considered as dissolved.

Article (60)

Any association re-registered according to the provisions of this law, shall re-form its
board of directors according to its bylaws within 3 months as of the day of re-
registration.