The last thing you want is men worrying about legal and compliance issues
Has your men’s shed become a legal entity?
Associations are incorporated under Country State and Territory Associations Incorporation legislation, which is not administered by various state authorities.
An incorporated association is a legal entity separate from its individual members that can hold property, sue and be sued and generally conduct business.
The Associations Incorporation Acts provide a simple and more affordable means of creating a separate legal entity for small, community-based groups with limited resources. They impose less onerous conditions than those that govern the activities of companies.
As legislation differs in each country, state or territory, it is difficult to outline detailed requirements for incorporated associations, but basically, an incorporated association may need to:
- Have a committee, responsible for managing the association.
- Have a public officer and notify any changes in that position.
- Have a registered office in its state of incorporation.
- Act in accordance with its objects and rules.
- Hold an Annual General Meeting once every calendar year.
- Lodge an Annual Statement every year.
- Keep proper accounting records and, in some states prepare, have audited and lodge financial statements.
- Keep minutes of all board, committee and general meetings.
- Keep registers of members and all committee members.
- Have a common seal.
“Mysteries once thought to be important for businesses but unimportant to non-profits have become the reality. Not incorporating a men’s shed can eventually cause unwanted problems, so incorporate today”. Peter Sergeant
For further information about incorporating your men’s shed and its post incorporation obligations please visit the website of the relevant state authorities in the state you wish to incorporate your men’s shed. This information should be used as a guide only.
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I have found many men’s sheds unaware or unwilling to become incorporated. Be warned if something goes wrong you and your members will be personally responsible, something members would not be happy about if they knew.
Another important aspect of incorporation is that you have a legal entity which will be a requirement of most lenders.