Incorporated Associations & ACNC Registrations


I can help you with the incorporation of your association and your registration with The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). The key to a smooth start-up process is planning.

Planning and preparing documentation before the process begins helps determine the appropriate legal structure and eligibility for certain registrations and whether the applications for various registrations should be made.


The incorporation process is relatively straightforward. It includes stipulating the purposes of your organisation, convening meetings to adopt a constitution or the model rules, electing office bearers and a committee, and completing an application.

The wording of the purposes of your organisation is important in determining whether your organisation can be registered as a charity with the ACNC.

Applying for an ABN and Tax Filer Number

Once incorporated you can then apply for an ABN and Tax File Number (TFN). The TFN is required to avoid withholding tax being deducted by your bank on interest earned. The application for the ABN and TFN will require the members of the committee to provide their tax file numbers to you to include in the application.

Application to ACNC for Registration

Once you have an ABN you can apply to the ACNC. The ACNC only registers organisations that satisfy the requirements of a charity. Therefore the need to ensure your constitution satisfies the charity requirements. There are different types of charities therefore you need to ensure that your organisation satisfies the requirements for the particular type of charity.

Registration as a charity does not mean donations to the organisation are tax-deductible. This requires the organisation to also have an endorsement as a deductible gift recipient (DGR) with the ATO. There are additional rules and tests required for DGR endorsement. These additional requirements also need to be included in the organisation’s constitution. The application for DGR status can be made as part of the ACNC registration application.

The ACNC will also look at how the organisation is actually operating and/or will be operating and not rely on the documentation to make their decision.

GST and FBT Registration

Once your organisation is registered as a charity you can assess whether there is value in registering for GST and therefore access to GST refunds. GST registration brings with it the obligation to lodge a quarterly or annual business activity statement (BAS).

FBT is only an issue if the organisation has employees and they are also receiving certain taxable fringe benefits. A registered charity is entitled to certain FBT rebates.

The applications for GST and FBT registrations are made to the ATO once you have determined they are applicable.

Other Practical Considerations

I can also help you with:

  • selecting and setting up an accounting package and systems;
  • establishing a payroll system if required;
  • documenting policies and procedures