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Frequently asked questions

Information for incorporated associations

Why should our Association/Group/Club/Society incorporate?

Incorporation of an association means that it becomes a legal entity, separate from the individual members, and its members are afforded the benefits of the Associations Incorporation Act. This means that a member or an officer of the association shall not be liable to contribute towards the payment of debts and liabilities of the association, nor the costs, charges and expenses of winding up the association, provided that the association does not trade or does not secure profit for its members.

How do we register an Incorporated Association?

Association Incorporation Kits are available from Consumer Protection. You can phone the Department on 1300 30 40 74 and request one be mailed to you, or you can email your request.

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How much does it cost to incorporate an association?

This is a one off fee, and there are no annual fees to remain incorporated.

Where do we advertise our intention to incorporate?

An association must advertise its intent to incorporate once in a registered newspaper circulating in the area where the association is situated or conducts its affairs. A newspaper with a statewide circulation is advised if the association conducts its affairs in numerous areas or statewide.

Note: The application to incorporate must be lodged not less than one (1) month after the advertisement appears, and not more than three (3) months after the advertisement appears. The Department has no discretion under the Act to accept late applications. If the application is lodged late the entire procedure must be repeated.

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How do we change our Constitution/Rules, Objects or Name?

To change the Name or Objects of an incorporated Association or the Rules (Constitution), a general meeting must be held (giving notice to members in line with the constitution) and the changes approved by a Special Resolution. Three quarters of the members present must vote to accept the amendments in order to pass the Special Resolution.

Consumer Protection must then be notified of the Special Resolution (a form for this is available from the Department) within one (1) month of the meeting at which it was passed, and a copy of the amendments lodged with the Department including any payment of relevant fees.

Can we abbreviate our association's name?

No. The full name of the association must be used at all times, concluding with the word 'Incorporated' or 'Inc'.

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How do we wind up our Incorporated Association?

An incorporated association may be wound up voluntarily if the association is solvent and resolves by Special Resolution that it be wound up voluntarily. The Department must be notified by lodgement of a Notice of Special Resolution within 14 days after the general meeting is held at which the Special Resolution was passed.

The Department has provided an Information Sheet - "Voluntarily Winding Up of an Incorporated Association" - which describes the requirements for the voluntary winding up of an incorporated association.

Can we get another copy of our Constitution/Rules if we lose our copy?

You can obtain a copy of your associations constitution from the Department for a fee.

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Can we get a copy of our Certificate of Incorporation?

A replacement copy of your associations Certificate of Incorporation is available from the Department for a fee

Do we have to submit any sort of annual returns to Consumer Protection?

No, you do not need to submit any annual records to the Department. However, an incorporated association must keep accounting records to correctly record and explain the financial transactions and financial position of the association. These records need to be kept in a manner so that they can be properly audited if need be. Consumer Protection can direct an incorporated association to undergo a financial audit if the Commissioner sees due cause to do so. The Department can also direct an association to provide it with copies of the association's records and documents.

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Are members entitled to view the association's accounts and records?

Under the Act, an incorporated association must at the annual general meeting, submit to its members, accounts of the association showing the financial position of the association at the end of the immediately preceding financial year. Members are also entitled to view the Register of Members, the Record of Office Bearers, and the Rules/Constitution of the Association. An incorporated association must keep an up to date record of all of these documents.

Do we need a common seal?

Under the Act it is necessary for an incorporated association to have a common seal.

These are available from rubber stamp manufacturers and most footwear repair places. You will need to take your association's Certificate of Incorporation to the manufacturers and they will make up the seal for you.

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