Before incorporating a new association in NSW, you need to consider the following important matters:
1. Understand your obligations
Ensure your group is able to meet the costs and obligations involved in forming and running an incorporated association. Failure to comply with these obligations may lead to the issue of penalty notices, prosecution or cancellation of the association's incorporation.
2. Number of people required
You must have 5 or more individuals to apply for registration or if you are an existing unincorporated group, you must have 5 or more individual members in the group.
3. Develop a constitution
A statement of your association's objectives and an appropriate constitution must be developed. You can choose to adopt the Model constitution from the Fair Trading website or develop your own. If you develop your own constitution, you must address 17 matters which you will find listed on the About the constitution page.
4. Set up a committee
You must establish a committee to manage the association's affairs. The committee must have 3 or more members, each over 18 years of age and at least 3 of whom reside in Australia. If the group adopts the Model constitution then your committee will have seven members. The committee must ensure that the association meets its legal and reporting obligations.
5. Public officer
Your committee must appoint a public officer who is over 18 years of age and is a resident of New South Wales. The public officer is an authorised signatory for the association and is the official point of contact for the association.
6. Official address
Your association must have an official address within New South Wales. This must be an address at which the public officer can generally be found and at which documents can be served on the association by post. The official address cannot be a post office box.
7. Choosing a name
You should choose a name that reflects the purpose of the association. The name must not be identical or similar to a name that is already registered.
To find out if a name is already registered, you can do a free online search of the Organisation and Business Name search facility on the Australian Securities and Investment Commission website.
You can also check if a name is already registered by an incorporated association in NSW by visiting the NSW incorporated associations online register. It provides key information about incorporated associations registered in NSW, including an entity's incorporation name and number, date of incorporation and registration status.
If you require more detailed information, please contact Fair Trading on 1800 502 042 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
8. Apply for incorporation
You can apply for incorporation by lodging a Form A2 - Application for registration of association (available from the Associations forms page), together with the prescribed fee at any Service NSW Centre or by mail to Registry Services, PO Box 22, Bathurst NSW 2795 or email email@example.com together with a credit card payment details.
9. Holding annual general meetings and lodging an Annual summary of financial affairs
The first annual general meeting (AGM) for a new association must be held within 18 months from the date of incorporation. After that, the AGM is held within 6 months after the close of the association's financial year.
Your association must keep records of all meetings and all financial transactions. Financial statements must be prepared before the AGM and presented to members at the AGM. Within 1 month following the AGM, the association must lodge an Annual summary of financial affairs with NSW Fair Trading.
If your association is also a charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) you only need to submit annual reports to the ACNC. The ACNC will share the information with NSW Fair Trading.
Your association should consider its own insurance needs, including the need for public liability insurance, and take out appropriate insurance as necessary. Insurance is not a requirement under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009.
Need more information?
PO Box 22
Bathurst NSW 2795
Tel: 02 6333 1400
Free Call: 1800 502 042