What is a special purpose company?

A 'special purpose company' is generally one that's created for a set reason, not just general business. Special purpose companies are usually one of the following:

Superannuation Trustee Company

A superannuation trustee company acts solely as a trustee of a regulated superannuation fund. (Refer to s19 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 for more information). The company's constitution must prohibit the company from distributing income or property to its members.

Home Unit Company

This type involves a group of people (directors or members) who own or live in a block of flats or units. The company exists as a body corporate to administer the property. Only proprietary companies can be home unit companies.

Not-for-profit Company

This company is for charitable purposes only. The constitution requires the company to:

  • apply its income in promoting charitable purposes
  • prohibit distributions to its members and paying fees to its directors, and
  • make its directors approve all other payments the company makes to them.

In each case, the company's constitution must meet the requirements under the Corporations (Review Fees) Regulations 2003. If you're unsure, we recommend getting legal advice.