We are pleased to report there is healthy number of affiliates who are either incorporated or who are on the path to becoming incorporated.
However, there are over seventy affiliates who are yet to embark on the process.
WHY THE URGENCY?
Australian Business Register (ABR) states: An unincorporated association is not recognised as a separate legal entity to the members associated with it. It is a group of people who agree to act together as an organisation and form an association. The group can remain informal, and its members make their own rules on how the group is managed. The rules may also be referred to as a constitution.
This means, the members of the church/charity are liable for any debts of the entity and the actions of the Pastor and staff.
BENEFITS OF INCORPORATING AN ASSOCIATION
- members and officers of the association are not generally liable to contribute towards the payment of debts or liabilities of the association.
- once registered, the name of an incorporated association will be protected and ends with the word “Incorporated” or the abbreviation “Inc”.
- enter into contracts;
- open bank accounts;
- sue or be sued; and
- employ staff.
DOESN’T INSURANCE COVER THE LIABILITY?
Insurance may cover a limited proportion of the liability but not the full extent. Should the affiliate be sued in court and the case is lost, the church/agency could incur debts in the millions. Sadly, there are several case studies highlighted by the media e.g. redress and reparation schemes.
CCVT has developed a constitution template. Click here to download it. If you are presently unincorporated, please contact us so that we can guide you to personalise it to your church/mission agency, whilst maintaining to the legal framework.
AUSTRALIAN CHARITIES AND NOT FOR PROFIT COMMISSION (ACNC)
If you are registered with ACNC, please ensure information is updated regularly, giving particular attention to changes in Office Bearers and submitting your Annual Information Statement (AIS) by the deadline.
NOT SURE WHERE TO START?
Please feel free to contact Joanne Antoni, CCVT at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: 9488 8800.