This paper is the second from the “Salon Series on the Creation of Legislation on the Right of Association and Social Organizations”. This was a series of salons jointly hosted by Tsinghua University’s ngo Research Center, the Philanthropy and ngo Support Center, and the editorial office of the China Nonprofit Review. The formulation of a basic law on social organizations is an important issue for China’s social sector, and particularly for the social organization sector. It is also one of the conditions necessary for a transformation in the way social organizations are managed, from the current form of governance, which is achieved through administrative regulations, to management by ‘rule of law’ in the truest sense. Recently, in academic circles, many different lines of thought have developed about the formulation of a basic law for social organizations, including the argument for ‘governance through administrative law’, which adopts a public law perspective; the argument for ‘special civil laws’, which approaches the question from the perspective of private law; and the argument for a ‘combination of legal forms’. This paper explores the content of a basic law, as well as the objectives, nature of and skills involved in formulating such a law. It examines the necessity and feasibility of creating such legislation, and the key ideas that need to be transformed during the legislative process. At the same time, the paper considers the differences between this and the thinking behind other legislation such as the charity law.