SEWA is registered as a trade union under the Indian Trade Unions Act of 1926. The union is open for membership to all informal sector self-employed women workers all over India. The union is governed by a two-tier level of elected representation. The members of each trade elect their representatives in the ratio of 1 representative per 1500 members. These representatives then form the Trade Council (Pratinidhi Mandal). In addition, and parallel to the Trade Council are the Trade Committees (Dhandha Samiti) in each trade. The Trade Committee has no fixed proportion to number of members but varies between 15 to 50 members. The Trade Committees meet every month and discuss the problems of their trades and possible solutions to them. Trade Council members are members of their respective Trade Committees as well. The organiser of a trade group is the Member Secretary of that group’s Trade Committee.

Every three years the Trade Council members are elected and the Trade Council members elects an Executive Committee of 25 members. The representation on the Executive Committee reflects the proportion of the membership.

The office-bearers of the trade union are elected from among the Executive members. It has become a practice to elect the President from the trade with the largest membership.