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What is an incorporated association?


An incorporated association is the most common (but not the only) legal structure used by not-forprofit organisations. There are laws that regulate incorporated associations in each state and territory. This information deals with New South Wales laws only.

A NSW association must operate in accordance with the requirements of the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW) (the Act) and the Associations Incorporation Regulation 2016 (NSW) (the Regulations).

What are the reporting obligations of an incorporated association?

Certain information must be reported to NSW Fair Trading under the Act and the Regulations, including a yearly (annual) summary of the association’s financial situation, and when changes occur (like when a new public officer is appointed, or the association's details change).

What are the rules and purposes of an incorporated association?

Every incorporated association has its own constitution (or rules) which sets out in detail the procedures for running the association and the purpose for which the association is established. It is essential to be familiar with your constitution (or rules). 

What is the role of members of an incorporated association?

Members of an incorporated association have the power to make certain decisions about the association. In particular, they usually appoint the members of the committee.

What is a committee?

The committee of an incorporated association (that is, its governing body or board) is responsible for overseeing how the association operates. There are a number of special positions on the committee, known as ‘office bearers’.

Often the public officer is a member of the committee, but this is not required under the Act.

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