Most non-profit community sporting clubs in NSW will be incorporated as Associations under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW). The Act is administered by NSW Fair Trading.
2.1.1 Why incorporate?
Incorporation under The Act gives an entity certain legal advantages in return for accepting certain legal responsibilities. Incorporation provides sports clubs/associations with a simple and inexpensive means of becoming a legal entity and helps to protect members in legal transactions. You cannot incorporate if you are planning to provide monetary gains to members.
2.1.2 How to incorporate an Association – new or existing
Fair Trading NSW provides a step-by-step guide.
2.1.3 Running an Association – your obligations
Incorporation benefits an association and its members. However, it also brings a number of responsibilities. Learn what you need to do at Fair Trading NSW.
2.1.4 Who is responsible?
Your Constitution should set out how your association or club is run, who runs it and what authority they have. Office Bearers are people that have legal responsibilities and perform certain identified duties for an association or club. They are persons elected or appointed to the board or committee. They may also include persons who were not elected e.g. immediate past Chairperson/Presidents and other persons who are not on the board or committee but who still exert influence over the club.
2.1.5 What is non-profit?
According to the Australian Tax Office (ATO), a non-profit is any organisation, which is not operating for the profit or gain of its individual members, whether these gains would have been direct or indirect. This applies both while the organisation is operating and when it winds up. Any profit made by the organisation goes back into the operation of the organisation to carry out its purposes as per its Constitution and is not distributed to any of its members.
A non-profit sporting club can still make a profit, but this profit must be used to carry out its purposes and must not be distributed to owners, members or other private people.
You will also find more on registering not for profit or charitable organisations.
2.1.6 Corporations Act 2001
Clubs may also register as a company under the Corporations Act (Commonwealth) 2001.
For further information about company structures go to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
Your state or national body is a good first port of call for advice and assistance.
- The Office of Sport’s Governance Framework can assist your club to improve its governance practices and systems.
- Office of Sport – Model Constitution templates
- NSW Fair Trading
- Australian Taxation Office
- Australian Securities and Investment Commission
- Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
- The Clearinghouse for Sport connects people in sport to a world of ideas, experiences and knowledge. =
As with any resource, this does not replace obtaining legal advice on each sport specific requirement and it is recommended you do so.
The information provided in this resource is for your information only. The authors and the NSW Office of Sport accept no responsibility for the accuracy of the information or your reliance upon it.