Your responsibilities as an incorporated society

Meeting your legal obligations

Once you've registered your incorporated society, you’ll need to maintain it, keeping your details up to date on the register, filing annual financial statements, and meeting your other legal obligations.

On this page:

Filing annual financial statements

Incorporated societies are required to file financial statements with the Companies Office each year (unless registered with Charities Services). These records show that a society is still operating, and therefore, should remain on the register. This is done following a general meeting such as an annual general meeting (AGM).

Maintaining a register of your members

All incorporated societies are required to keep an accurate register of their members.

You’ll also need to keep a number of financial records and documents, to enable you to complete your annual financial statements.

If your rules or name change

You can change your society’s rules or name, but the change only takes effect once we’ve recorded it on the register.

If other details change

When details about your society change – such as an address, or the names and details of your elected officers – you’ll need to let us know, so the register can be updated. You are legally required to inform us when your registered office address changes.

If your society needs winding up

When an incorporated society reaches the end of its 'life', it must be wound up and removed from the register. There are 2 ways this can be done – by dissolving the society, or having it liquidated.

Other legal obligations

As with any person or organisation, an incorporated society must comply with the laws of New Zealand.

Your responsibilities include meeting any tax obligations, and complying with government agency requirements that may apply to your society’s activities.

Breaches of the law

If you're concerned that the activities of an incorporated society breach New Zealand laws, it may be appropriate to forward your concerns, along with any supporting evidence, to the appropriate authority.

  • Criminal activity, such as fraud or theft, should be reported to the Police .
  • If the issue relates to internal governance and the society is registered with Charities Services , you should contact that office.

Want to know more?

Read more about incorporated societies and how they should operate:

All help topics

Getting started on the register 6 guides

Find out about incorporated societies and the Incorporated Societies Register, and what's needed to register and maintain an incorporated society in New Zealand.

Searching the Incorporated Societies Register 2 guides

Find out how to search our registers for information about incorporated societies, and other business entities

Starting an incorporated society 6 guides

To incorporate a society in New Zealand you must submit an application, along with the required documents, and pay a registration fee.

Running your incorporated society 6 guides

Once you’ve registered, you’ll need to keep your details on the register up to date, and follow the rules that apply to incorporated societies and how they are run.

Ending an incorporated society 2 guides

When an incorporated society reaches the end of its 'life', it must be wound up and removed from the register. There are two ways this can be done – by dissolving the society, or having it liquidated.

Restoring an incorporated society to the register 2 guides

An application can be made to us to have an incorporated society restored to the register, by the society itself, or by a creditor. You'll need to provide evidence to support your application.

Forms and fees 3 guides

Forms you'll need to register your incorporated society and keep it up to date, along with a schedule of fees payable.