Not-for-profit organisations

A not-for-profit organisation provides services to the community and doesn't operate for the profit or personal gain of its individual members. All profits made must go back into the services the organisation provides. Profits mustn't be distributed to owners, members or other private people.

Not-for-profit (NFP) organisations fall into two broad categories:

  1. charities
  2. other NFP organisations that are not charities - eg most sporting and recreational clubs, community service organisations, professional and business associations and social organisations.

Registering a not-for-profit organisation

When you register a company, this creates a legal entity separate from its members. Companies are registered under the Corporations Act 2001, which is Commonwealth legislation administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

A company's registration is recognised Australia-wide and a company can:

  • hold property
  • sue
  • be sued.

Charities need to be registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) before they can claim tax concessions.

Find out more about registering your organisation on the Australian Taxation website.

Further information, including registering an NFP company and responsibilities of an NFP company, is available on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Related information

Other websites

Not-for-profit tax laws and concessions - Australian Taxation Office

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Page last updated 10 May 2022

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