2 Steps to becoming an incorporated association
The procedure for registering an incorporated association is fairly simple and involves a few basic steps.
The key steps are:
2.1 Hold an initial meeting
Before a group can proceed with an application for incorporation, it needs to determine whether or not the group wants to become incorporated and to decide who will be responsible for making the application. The group should hold a meeting of all its members to vote whether it wants to incorporate. If the members agree that they do want the organisation to become an incorporated association then the members need to:
Authorise one or more members to prepare and submit the application for incorporation;
Decide on a possible name for the association;
Decide on the aims of the association; and
Elect a member or committee to draft the rules.
2.2 Determine a suitable name and eligibility
2.2.1 Checking the Name
If your organisation wants to apply to become incorporated, you should first check that the proposed association name is available for registration. Although this step is not compulsory, it may save you time and effort later. The Commissioner for Consumer Protection can reject a name if it is:
Already in use
Offensive or undesirable
Likely to mislead the public; or
Likely to be confused with the name of an existing body corporate or registered business name.
You may confirm the availability of your association’s proposed name by faxing or posting a Form 8 – Enquiry as to the Availability of Association Name to Consumer Protection. There is no fee for this service and Consumer Protection will notify you in writing whether or not the name is available.
Please be aware that while a name may be available for use at the time of your enquiry it cannot be reserved or protected in any way. Final approval of the name will be subject to a formal assessment of the application for incorporation.
2.2.2 Approval of Purpose
It is also important to make sure that the objects of your association are consistent with the Act. If the purpose of the association is not one which is specified in section 4, the association can only be incorporated if the purpose is approved by the Commissioner under section 4(1)(f). This section allows for incorporation ‘for any other purpose approved by the Commissioner’. There is a fee payable for this application. Click here to view fees.
2.3 Develop a set of rules
The Act requires an incorporated association to have a set of rules that govern the day-to-day management of the association. You may draft your own rules, however the rules must:
be consistent with the requirements of the Act;
Provide for all the matters set out in Schedule 1 of the Act; and
Comply with any taxable status provisions the group is seeking
(see Chapter 10 – Taxation for more information).
2.3.1 What matters must be provided for in the rules of an incorporated association?
Any new association incorporated in Western Australia is required to make provision for 14 specific matters in its rules. These matters are detailed in Schedule 1 of the Act and are included in a checklist at the end of this chapter.
While an incorporated associations rules must provide for the Schedule 1 matters as a minimum, they can have other rules if they wish; provided that those rules do not breach any laws. For example, the rules cannot discriminate in membership on grounds prohibited by legislation, unless special exemption is obtained (see Chapter 14-Discrimination and Harassment).
There are no requirements about the length or complexity of rules for an incorporated association. However, to avoid misinterpretation, the rules should be written in clear simple language.
Section 5(2)(a) of the Act requires that a copy of the adopted rules accompany the Application for Incorporation. The submitted rules will be retained as the definitive record of the association’s rules in the event of a dispute.
2.3.2 Using the model rules
To assist associations, Consumer Protection has developed a set of model rules that can be adopted outright or used to provide examples of rules or proposed wording. You may use the model rules as a guide for developing your own set of rules but any new or altered rules must still comply with the basic requirements set out in Schedule 1.
To check that the association’s rules are consistent with the Act and in particular the Schedule 1 requirements you can complete the checklist included with the model rules. The Association can also complete the checklist included as an Attachment to
Application for Incorporation of an Association .
2.3.3 Drafting a set of rules.
When developing a set of rules for the association, you may wish to follow a systematic and democratic process such as the following:
2.4 Hold a meeting to formally pass a resolution to adopt the rules and approve the proposed name of the association.
After a draft set of rules has been developed, a meeting to adopt the rules of the association and approve the proposed name should be held. The motions should be formally moved, seconded and recorded in the minutes (see Chapter 6 - Meetings for more information regarding motions).
2.5 Advertise your intention to incorporate
The person authorised by the association to apply for incorporation must place an Advertisement of Intended Application for Incorporation in a newspaper circulating in an area where the association is situated or conducts its affairs. Depending on the size, membership and activities of the association a local community paper may be acceptable. However, if the association is likely to operate throughout the state or nationally a newspaper such as The West Australian or The Australian may be more appropriate. It is important to note that classifieds such as The Quokka are not deemed newspapers for the purposes of the Act and Consumer Protection will not accept advertisements from such publications.
The advertisement must be published in a prescribed format and include specific information. Associations can complete a Form 2 – Advertisement of Intended Application for Incorporation and send this directly to the newspaper to be published.
Before submitting the Form 2, associations should complete the Advertising section of the Attachment to Application for Incorporation of an Association to check that the advertisement meets the requirements of the Act.
The advertisement must be published at least one month but not longer than three months before submitting your application to Consumer Protection. A copy of the published advertisement must accompany the application . Associations should be aware that Consumer Protection can not accept late applications and the advertising process will have to start again if you lodge the application after the three-month period.
Within one month after the publication of the advertisement, any person may request the Commissioner to decline the application. If the Commissioner refuses the request to decline the application, the person who made the request may apply to the State Administrative Tribunal to review the decision within 14 days of receiving the notice of refusal.
2.6 Complete and submit the application
Once the one month has passed since your advertisement was published in a newspaper and no request was made to the Commissioner to decline incorporation of your association, then the association may now submit the application for incorporation. The association should complete a Form 1 – Application for Incorporation of an Association.
The application form will require the following information:
The name of the association (including the word “Inc” or “Incorporated”);
The main purpose of the association;
Details of the applicant;
Details of a contact person (if not the applicant);
The name of the newspaper and the date of advertisement; and
Names and postal addresses for 6 of the association’s members.
Remember that the adopted rules together with a copy of the published advertisement must accompany the application and should be submitted to Consumer Protection with payment of the application fee.
Please note that the Act provides that the rules of an association as well as every other document which is required by the Act (including the Form 1) to be lodged with the Commissioner are to be available to members of the public upon request and payment of
a prescribed fee.
when submitting your application to Consumer Protection remember to: