What is an Incorporated Association?
An incorporated association is basically a group of people that is regarded as a person. It is because it has the same responsibilities and benefits like a person does. It is a legal entity that does not change even if its members do.
It can do the following as governed by the law:
- Own a Land
- Appear in Court
- Enter into Contracts
Responsibilities of an Incorporated Association
An incorporated association has duties and responsibilities as well, these include the following:
- Comply with the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 and the Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999
- Review its financial affairs every year
- Lodge copies of its rules, annual returns and financial statements
Starting and Incorporated Association
There are qualifications that must be met before starting to incorporate, these are:
- Having at least seven (7) members
- Be a not-for-profit organization
- Have a physical address in Queensland
After meeting the aforementioned requirements, the next steps should be completed:
- Propose a resolution to become an incorporated association
- Pass the said resolution with ¾ majority vote
The name chosen for the incorporated association must also meet requirements subject for the approval of the Government of Queensland:
- Contain only English characters (the characters allowed are the letters A to Z, numbers 0 to 9, apostrophes, brackets and full stops)
- Have the word ´Incorporated´ or the abbreviation ´Inc.´ at the end of the name chosen
The name chosen should not be similar or identical to the following:
- Another association’s name
- A business name
- A cooperative name
- The name of a company
To check if the name you have in mind, you may check the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s registers. You may do this online by going to this link: http://www.asic.gov.au/
There are restrictions to certain names as well. You cannot choose a name that:
- May be confused with government agencies, financial institutions or educational institutions
- Infers an affiliation with the Royal family, ex-servicepersons’ organizations or major sporting events (if that affiliation does not exist).
To review the complete list of restrictions, you may check the Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999.
Set of Rules
Incorporated associations must create a set of guiding rules for its operations. It is also referred to as the “association’s constitution”. Once your association is incorporated, these rules immediately take full effect.
The rules must outline the following:
- How the association operates
- What rights are available to members
- How the management committee works
- How meetings will run.
- Get more details about adopting rules
- You may use the model rules or you can write your own rules.
- If your association writes its own rules, you must complete Appendix A on the Application for incorporation of an association
- If your association uses the model rules, you must complete Appendix B.
Set a Management Committee
- How to choose committee members
- How long the committee members’ term of office is
- Why a committee position may become vacant
- How to fill casual vacancies on the committee.
- The rules should set out how to choose the committee members. The management committee will usually include a president, treasurer and secretary.
Application to the Queensland Government
- completing the online application form
You may download it via this link: https://forms.business.gov.au/aba/landing.htm?formCode=application-for-inco
- Lodging the Application for Incorporation of an Association.
You may download it via this link: https://publications.qld.gov.au/dataset/28652d53-7a53-4690-afd6-4abc77a2c7d7/resource/9948d83d-841d-4e71-af75-b76ccc9f1cf8/download/aiaform1incorporatedassociationapplication.pdf
Fees to be paid will amount to $148.00 that needs to be settled at the time of lodgments. This is as of this writing, for updated fees you may check out the official website of Queensland Government.
The regular lead time for this type of application is three (3) to four (4) weeks. Unless there is a need to contact the applications for additional requirements or information.
There are a fair number of steps required to setup an association as shown. Be aware that the ongoing responsibilities and liabilities must also be adhered to.