Incorporation - NSW
This page provides general information on incorporation of associations under
the Associations Incorporation Act 1984. References to the Act refer to this
legislation, which is administered by the Office of Fair Trading.
What is an association?
It is common in our community for groups of people to come together to pursue a
common interest. This may be to engage in a hobby, social or cultural exchange or
to provide a community benefit. These groups are loosely called 'associations'.
Associations of people do not have to be incorporated, they may remain, simply, as
an association of people and they are not subject to any laws to govern how they are
to be organised or what name they have. There are laws that may affect their
activities and the liability of the association or its members.
Incorporation by an association has been an option available to these groups in New
South Wales since 1984. Incorporation is voluntary.
This page is intended to provide some basic information about the nature of
incorporation. Follow the links on the left to other pages which will assist you in
understanding the obligations of an incorporated association under the relevant
Whether to incorporate is a matter of choice for your group. Your group should
obtain advice from a solicitor, accountant, governing or funding body on this option if
there is some uncertainty about its suitability.
What are the benefits of incorporation as an association?
The purpose of the Act is to provide non-commercial organisations, particularly
community groups and clubs, a simple, inexpensive mechanism to gain an
independent legal identity.
As a legal body in its own right, an incorporated association can:
• enter into and enforce contracts including the power to hold, acquire and deal
• sue or be sued, and
• continue regardless of changes to membership.
The existence of a separate legal entity means that the association bears liability for
its acts. Briefly, this mea