To learn how to incorporate your club, please read through the following steps. It is important to make sure each step is completed correctly so that the registration is valid.
1. Make sure you meet the requirements for incorporation
To become an incorporated association, your club, community group or organisation must:
- have at least five members
- not operate for the profit of its members. An incorporated association can provide services or benefits to its members.
2. Choose a name
You must choose a name that reflects the purpose of the association.
- Your proposed name must not be identical or similar to one listed on Search ASIC registers.
This list is checked as part of the application process and you are unable to proceed through the application until a proposed name can be registered.
- Your association must have the word ‘Incorporated’ as the last word of its name. You may also use ‘Inc.’ or ‘Inc’.
3. Create your rules and purpose
Your association must have a written set of rules. In some associations, these rules are known as a constitution. The Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (the Act) sets out the 23 matters the rules must cover in Schedule 1 of the Act.
Your association can choose to make its own rules, but they must comply with the Act. An alternative is to use the model rules, which are a set of prewritten rules for incorporated associations.
The rules also include the association’s purpose; this is what the association intends to achieve. For example, the purpose for a junior football association may be:
- To provide an opportunity for the youth of our area to participate in Australian Rules Football and enhance their health and wellbeing through organised sport.
- To provide for the health, welfare and wellbeing of players, supporters and spectators.
For more help creating rules for your association, view Incorporated association rules.
4. Vote to incorporate the association
To incorporate, your association must first hold a meeting to vote on whether to do so. You must give all members at least 21 days’ notice of the meeting.
At this meeting, a majority of votes cast by members must:
- authorise a person, who is at least 18 years old and lives in Australia, to incorporate the association
- approve proposed rules that comply with the Act, or approve adoption of the model rules.
Unless you nominate another secretary, the person who lodges the application for incorporation becomes the secretary. If the person who lodges the application is not the secretary, that person will become a delegate of the association. For more information, view Delegates of incorporated associations.
Unless the rules specify otherwise, the committee members of the unincorporated association form the first management committee of the incorporated association.
5. Lodge an application
You can only lodge an application if you are authorised to do so by your committee. Before you start to prepare your application, you will need to:
- read the requirements for registration to check your organisation’s eligibility
- search for the name you wish to use to make sure it is not being used by another organisation
- have an electronic copy of the proposed rules of the association ready in Word, PDF, or RTF format, unless your association is adopting the model rules
- have the details ready for trusts that affect the association.
Using my CAV to lodge the application
The person authorised to apply for incorporation completes and lodges the online application in myCAV and pays the fee.
Note: The online application process includes creating a myCAV account. You can also use this to update details and submit annual statements. There is no fee to create an account, and we will guide you through this as part of the online application.
When your application is complete you will receive a certificate of incorporation showing:
- the name of your incorporated association
- your registration number
- your date of incorporation.
You can download and print copies of the certificate of incorporation and copies of your association’s rules from myCAV.
How to pay the application fee
Your association will need a debit or credit Visa or MasterCard ready to pay the application fee. You can also pay by cheque in person using Post Billpay at a Post Office. If you use Post Billpay, we will send an invoice to your email address and you will have 14 days to make the payment.
If you are having trouble using myCAV, send an email explaining the problem to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other things to consider
If your association is seeking exemption from income tax and other tax concessions, you might need to add specific clauses to the association’s rules to meet Australian Taxation Office requirements. To check before you incorporate, visit Australian Taxation Office.
Australian Business Number (ABN)
Your association does not have to have an ABN but it might need one for tax purposes. You can check on the Australian Business Register.
Vesting of property
If a founding member is holding property on behalf of the association before its incorporation, then the property will belong to the association after incorporation.
If that property is land, the association will need to make an application in accordance with the Transfer of Land Act 1958 for the title to be in the association’s registered name.
If your organisation wants to sell alcohol to your members or allow them to 'bring your own' (BYO) liquor onto your club premises, you will need a liquor licence. For more information, visit Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.