Society/Union - Registry of Friendly Societies

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Information on Registry of Friendly Societies (RFS)

The Registrar of Friendly Societies is responsible for the assessment and registration of applications and any subsequent amendment of rules which societies are obliged to render to the Registrar, and to ensure that registered societies meet their statutory obligations with regard to filing returns, which once registered are made available for inspection by the public. In this regard the following three classes of body come under the remit of the Registrar of Friendly Societies:

The Registry of Friendly Societies is based in Parnell House, 14 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, D01 E6W8 and shares the Location with the Companies Registration Office. The Registry is open between 10.00am and 1pm and from 2.15pm to 4.30pm.

Phone: 01-804 5499 , 1890 220 225*            Fax: 01-804 5498                  Email:

*Please note that the use of 1890 (Lo Call) numbers may vary among different service providers.


Online Search

The Register of Friendly Societies, Trade Unions and Industrial and Provident Societies is not fully available online and cannot be searched using the CRO website search.

It is possible to search online (by name) for a particular society or trade union. You are able to see a list of documents that have been filed against the society/union. Once you click on a particular society or union, you will see its number, address, entity type (whether friendly or industrial & provident society or a trade union), the date of registration, the last date of an annual return submitted to the RFS and the date of the last triennial return filed (where required). Should you click on View Submissions you will see listed the various submissions filed and whether they are processed and/or scanned.

It is possible to purchase online an image of a document for an Industrial and Provident Society. (Fee €3.00). (Payment by credit card only). However, at present, it is not possible to purchase online an image of a document for either a Trade Union or a Friendly Society. We hope to add this functionality in the future.


RFS - Legislation change

Minister Bruton has announced the commencement of legislation to reduce red tape on co-operatives. The Friendly Societies and Industrial and Provident Societies (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 was enacted on the 21st July 2014. See Department website.

This Act amends a number of provisions of both these Acts.

Changes to Industrial and Provident Society law has:

  • Introduced examinership process to Industrial and Provident Societies - commencement of this area was 1st July 2015 (SI 269 of 2015)
  • Allowed individual societies to set their own limit on individual shareholdings in the society
  • Eased financial reporting restrictions by extending the period for the preparation and submission of the annual return and accounts.
  • Made it easier for cancelled societies to be restored to the register
  • Eased fund-raising restrictions for non-agricultural societies

It is no longer possible to register a new Friendly Society.

RFS - Industrial and Provident Societies and Annual Returns

A society must once in every year send a return [section 10(e) of the 2014 Act].  The annual return shall be submitted no later than-

  • (i) 31 October, where the date of its last published balance sheet falls between 1 January and 30 June, and
  • (ii) 30 April, where the date of its last published balance sheet falls between 1 July and 31 December (of the preceding year);

Please note that the submission of Triennial returns is no longer required. The section of the 1913 Act dealing with this has been repealed.


Other Links

View Fees

Link to the principal Forms in use for: