This Article is written by Ananya Verma, student of Ramaiah College of Law.


The Trade Union Act was passed in 1926 but came into enforce from 1st June 1927. This Act provides for the Registration of Trade Unions with a view to render lawful association of workers. The Act also defines law relating to registered trade unions and provides certain privileges and protection to the registered trade unions. Chapter II of the Act deals with the provision of the ‘Registration of Trade Unions’. According to Section 2(h) of the Act, “Trade Union” means any combination, whether temporary or permanent, formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workmen and employers or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive condition on the conduct of any trade or business, and includes any federation of two or more trade unions.


The entire process of registration in the case of trade union registration is vested with the registrar of the trade unions. Section 3 of the Act provides for the appointment of the registrar of the trade union. The appropriate Government (Central Government) ought to appoint a person to be the registrar for each state. The additional or deputy registrars are appointed where the registrar of trade union is unfit to deliver the powers and functions as prescribed. They may exercise such powers and functions of registrar within territorial jurisdiction as may be specified for this purpose.

  • Mode of Registration

According to Section 4 of the Act, any seven or more person who wants to form a trade union can apply of its registration under this section. After 2001 amendment of Section 4 of the Act, it was held that there must be a minimum of seven members for the purpose of registration. It was done to encourage the formation of more trade unions. Therefore two conditions need to be fulfilled:-

  • Any seven or more members as signatories should be related to the same union.
  • Provided that there are 100 or 10%, whichever is less employed in the establishment with which trade union is related.

Also, such application made under sub-section (1), shall not be regard as invalid merely on the ground that at any time after the date of the application, but before the registration some of the members but not exceeding half of the total number of persons who made the application has ceased to be members of the trade union.

  • Application of Registration

According to Section 5 of the Act, the application to the registrar for the registration, must be accompanied with the copy of rules of trade union containing the following details:-

  • The name, occupation and addresses of the members of the application.
  • Name and address of the trade union and the address of its head office.
  • The name, ages, address and occupation of the office-bearers of the trade union.
  • If the trade union is in existence for more than one year then the application should also contain a general statement of the assets and liabilities of the trade union.

Provision to be contained in rule of trade union

A trade union shall not qualify to registration under this Act, unless the executive committee has been established in accordance with the provision of this Act, and the subscribers must give a notice to the registrar with following details:-

  • Name and its object for which trade union has been established.
  • The lawful purpose for which the general fund of union shall be used; such funds can be lawfully spent.
  • Maintenance of the members list and adequate facilities for inspection by office-bearers and member of the union.
  • The manner, in which rules shall be amended, altered or revoked.
  • The minimum membership subscription of 25 paise per month.
  • Safe custody of funds, annual audit of the account and adequate facilities for the inspection of the account books by officers and members.
  • The manner of termination.
  • Power to call for further particulars and to required modification of name –

Section 7(1) gives the power to the register to call for further information from the applicant and he may also refuse to register the union if all the particulars are in accordance with Section 5 and Section 6. He is been granted with the power to ask for:-

  • Further information to satisfy himself.
  • To change name of the union.
  • Union with same name can be confusing to public or member.


Section 8 requires the registrar to consider the relevant material before he is satisfied that the requirement under the act regarding registration have been complied with all the provision of the Act. The satisfaction of the registration must be based on the relevant material that is to comply with the rules of natural justice.

Certificate of Registration

According to Section 10 of the Act, the registrar on registering a trade union under Section 8 issue a certificate of registration in the prescribed form which should be conclusive verification that a trade union has been duly registered.

Cancellation of Registration 

According to Section 10 of the Act, a certificate of registration may be removed or cancelled or an application of the trade union to be verified in such manner as may be prescribed. A registrar can refuse/reject registration under the following circumstances:-

  • Registration is obtained by mistake or fraud.
  • If an association or combination doesn’t comply within necessary limit.
  • If it refuses to supply the required information under Section 5 and Section 6.
  • Rescinds any rule providing for any matter.
  • If it refuses to alter its name which resembles the name already existing trade union (should submit within 3 months the alternate name or registration will be cancelled).


From the above explanations we can conclude that there are mainly four steps involved in the registration of trade unions, i.e. appointment of registrar, mode of registration, rights and duties of registrar and legal status of registered trade union. Trade unions were developed as a result of industrialization. It has its origin from the principle of ‘united we stand, divided we fall’. The presence of the unions establishes a good relation between the employer and workmen with a sense of responsibility towards each other and also ensures that the trade unions are rightly certified and recognized.


S.C. Srivastava, Industrial Relation and Labour Laws, Procedure and explanation of Registration of Trade Union,

The Trade Unions Act, 1926