Registering as an incorporated association

An incorporated association is also a legal entity separate from its members. Associations can be more effective for small community organisations. They are generally simpler and more affordable than a company structure.

Associations are registered under state and territory legislation, which is not administered by ASIC. Associations can only carry on business in the state they're registered in. For example, if registered in Victoria, they can only conduct business in Victoria. If they want to trade in other states, they need to become a registrable Australian body.

Association legislation changes from state to state, but requirements can include:

  • having a committee that manages the association
  • having a public officer
  • having a registered office in its state of incorporation
  • acting under all the rules of legislation
  • holding an annual general meeting once a year
  • lodging an annual statement every year
  • keeping proper accounting records
  • keeping minutes of all committee and general meetings
  • having registers of members and all committee members
  • having a common seal.