Penalties for incorporated associations

Skip listen and sharing tools

Consumer Affairs Victoria can issue an infringement notice if we identify breaches of certain sections of the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012.

An infringement notice allows you to pay a fine for these offences without an admission of guilt, rather than going to court.

The infringement penalty is less than the maximum penalty a court can impose if it finds you guilty of the same offence.

For full details of your legal obligations, refer to the Act.

The value of a penalty unit is $192.31 for financial year 2023-24. This amount will change at the start of each financial year. For more information, visit the Indexation of fees and penalties page on the Department of Treasury and Finance website

Section of the Associations Incorporation Act


Infringement penalty for breaching obligation



An incorporated association's name and registration number must appear on all notices, advertisements and business documents. The name must also be on the common seal (if any).

1 penalty unit



An incorporated association must have a registered address and must notify the Registrar of Consumer Affairs Victoria, in the form approved by the Registrar, within 14 days of any changes.

1 penalty unit



An incorporated association must permit a member at a reasonable time (see below), to inspect the rules and minutes of general meetings of the association.

An association must give a member a copy of the rules and minutes within 14 days if the member:

a) makes a written request, and
b) pays the prescribed fee (if any).

1 penalty unit


Within 14 days after their appointment, a secretary must give written notification, in the approved form, to the Registrar of their appointment and contact details.

1 penalty unit


An office holder or member must, within 28 days after ceasing to hold their position, return original copies of any relevant documents to the association’s committee.

1 penalty unit


Before a tier three association’s financial statements are submitted to the annual general meeting, the committee must have the financial statements audited.

The audit must be conducted by an independent:

a) registered company auditor, or
b) firm of registered company auditors, or
c) member of, and who holds a current practising certificate from:

i) CPA Australia, or

ii) the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, or

iii) the Institute of Public Accountants

d) approved by the Registrar to audit the financial statements.

2 penalty units


An incorporated association must allow a member at a reasonable time (see below), to inspect a copy of the trust deed of any trust that holds association funds or assets.

1 penalty unit


After each financial year of the association, the secretary must lodge with the Registrar a copy of the association’s financial statements prepared for that year.

The financial statements must be lodged within one month of the annual general meeting.

1 penalty unit


An incorporated association must keep the financial statements submitted at its annual general meeting for at least seven years.

4 penalty units

s. 105(2)
An incorporate association must keep the certificate referred to in section 94(3), 97(3) or 100(3) for at least 7 years after the certificate is signed. 2 penalty units


An incorporated association must notify the Registrar in writing of its transfer of incorporation within 14 days after it registers.

2 penalty units


An incorporated association must keep an original of a document for which a copy has been lodged with the Registrar for seven years.

It must also produce that document if requested to by the Registrar.

4 penalty units


If asked by the Registrar, an incorporated association must produce an original document within 28 days or a longer period specified by the Registrar.

1 penalty unit


If a person lodges with the Registrar a document not written in English, the person must at the same time lodge a certified English translation of the document.

1 penalty unit


Use of the word ‘incorporated’, ‘inc.’ or ‘inc’ when not entitled to do so.

2 penalty units

Meaning of ‘reasonable time’

What ‘reasonable time’ means depends on the individual circumstances of each association. For example, for a large association with full-time staff, it could mean between normal business hours Monday to Friday.

For a small association with only volunteer officers, it might mean at a time agreed between the member and the secretary.

‘Reasonable time’ does not include late at night, early in the morning or on public holidays, unless agreed by both parties.

If you wish to inspect particular documents, contact your association in advance to arrange an appointment.