Reading time: 3 minutes

Are you part of a small sports club or cultural group? If this group or community is engaging in non-commercial, small-scale and not-for-profit activities, you might consider setting up a legal entity. A common structure in these circumstances is incorporated associations. This article will answer some questions about incorporated associations in New South Wales.

1. What is an Incorporated Association?

Incorporated Associations are usually small community groups which allow the association to undertake the following actions:

  • Open bank accounts;
  • Enter into and enforce contracts;
  • Hold property;
  • Sue and be sued; and
  • Continue its existence regardless of membership.

The easiest way to check if your association is incorporated is to conduct an ABN search (the Register should list the organisation as an “Other Incorporated Entity”. Alternatively, you can check NSW Fair Trading’s search tool or the ACNC register (if you are a charity).

2. What Rules Govern Incorporated Associations?

In New South Wales, the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW) governs what rights members have. Your organisation’s rules or constitution should detail the complaint and dispute resolution process.

3. Am I a Member of an Incorporated Association?

You will become a member of an incorporated association if your organisation approves your application under its constitution. If you are unsure, the Secretary has a duty to maintain the register of members. You can ask the Secretary of the organisation to allow you to inspect the member’s register.

4. What Rights Do Members Have?

As mentioned, your organisation’s constitution should outline your rights. If you don’t have a copy, you can access one by downloading it from the ACNC website if you are a charity or asking the Secretary of your organisation for a copy.

Your constitution should include the rights to:

  • Attend general meetings;
  • Inspect minutes of meetings;
  • Get copies of minutes;
  • Vote on resolutions in general meetings;,
  • Vote to change the organisation’s rules; and
  • Vote to appoint and remove committee members.

Importantly, your rules also allow you to make complaints about other members and make submissions on disciplinary actions against other members.

5. What If I Have Been Denied My Rights?

If you feel that your organisation has not met any of the rights in your constitution, you can initiate a grievance procedure. These are procedures outlined in your rules that deal with disputes between the organisation and its members.

Under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW), you also have the right to obtain a court order directing the organisation to follow its rules. You should only commence this action if a grievance procedure and mediation has failed to resolve the issue.

6. Can My Right Be Suspended?

It is important to remember that your member rights can be suspended if you do not follow your obligations under the rules. Situations like this commonly occur if a member does not pay their annual fee.

***

If you have any further questions or need assistance setting up an incorporated association for your community group, get in touch with our business structuring lawyers on 1300 544 755.

Webinars

Employment Essentials for Tech Businesses

Thursday 5 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Protect your tech business and your employees by understanding your employment legal obligations. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

How to Protect and Enforce Your Trade Mark

Wednesday 11 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Protect your business’ brand from copycats and competitors. Register for this free webinar to learn how.
Register Now

Corporate Governance 101: Responsibilities for New Directors

Friday 13 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
If you are a new company director, join our free webinar to understand your legal compliance obligations. Register today.
Register Now

How Franchisors Can Avoid Misleading and Deceptive Conduct

Wednesday 18 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Ensure your franchise is not accused of misleading and deceptive conduct. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

New Kid on the Blockchain: Understanding the Proposed Laws for Crypto, NFT and Blockchain Projects

Wednesday 25 May | 10:00 - 10:45am

Online
If you operate in the crypto space, ensure you understand the Federal Government’s proposed licensing and regulation changes. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

How to Expand Your Business Into a Franchise

Thursday 26 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Drive rapid growth in your business by turning it into a franchise. To learn how, join our free webinar. Register today.
Register Now

Day in Court: What Happens When Your Business Goes to Court

Thursday 2 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
If your business is going to court, then you need to understand the process. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Manage a Construction Dispute

Thursday 9 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Protect your construction firm from disputes. To understand how, join our free webinar.
Register Now

Startup Financing: Venture Debt 101

Thursday 23 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how venture debt can help take your startup to the next level. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer