Introduction to the INC Guide
People often come together to form groups to pursue a range of common interests of a recreational, social, political, economic, cultural, spiritual or professional nature. In Western Australia alone, there are over 17,000 of these groups that have registered as incorporated associations.
Many groups decide to register as a ‘not-for-profit’ incorporated association because it enables them to create a separate legal entity through which to conduct their activities. There are several significant advantages:
- the individual members limit their exposure to personal legal liability;
- bank accounts can be opened in the name of the association; and
- the association can apply for government grants and hold property.
INC: A Guide for Incorporated Associations in Western Australia has been developed as a comprehensive operational document to assist associations in performing their role effectively.
The purpose of this guide is to provide information on some of the key legal obligations and rights that apply to associations once they are incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 (the Act).
It also provides a basic introduction to various aspects of managing an association, for example:
- conducting meetings;
- employing staff; and
- engaging volunteers.
In effect, the guide may be used by members of associations as a reference source on good governance practices.
There are many government departments and non-government organisations that provide assistance to incorporated associations. The guide also attempts to draw together these resources by providing examples, references and direct links wherever possible.
The Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety is responsible for regulating associations in Western Australia.