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 Fair Trading NSW.
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. Read more on not-for-profit below.
How to incorporate an Association – new or existing
Fair Trading NSW provides a step-by-step guide.
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.
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. The 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.
Other useful information
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.
Learn more at ATO.
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).
You will also find more on registering not for profit or charitable organisations.
Legal issues and grassroots sport - a collection of sport and the law articles by Play by the Rules.