The Incorporated Societies Act 2022 (2022 Act) came fully into force on 5 October 2023. To remain on the register, existing 1908 Act societies need to reregister under the 2022 Act no later than 5 April 2026.
It is very important that your society actively decides whether to reregister. If your society decides not to reregister you should apply for it to be dissolved, or appoint a liquidator, before 5 April 2026.
If you do nothing the Incorporated Societies Act 2022 determines what will happen. That could have serious implications — especially if your society has any debts (or obligations such as leases) or it owns any assets.
If your society decides to reregister
It must prepare for operating under and complying with the new Act.
- You can apply for reregistration between 5 October 2023 and 5 April 2026.
- There are things you need to do before you apply that will take some time, so you shouldn’t leave it too late to start planning.
If your society decides not to reregister
It may decide to appoint a liquidator, or it can apply to be dissolved. In either case, you should check and follow your society’s rules. These may set out the steps you must take to deal with your society’s assets and debts, and what meetings you must hold.
If your society does nothing
The 2022 Act determines what will happen to your society.
If your society doesn’t reregister between 5 October 2023 and 5 April 2026 it will cease to exist — it would no longer be an incorporated society which has the following implications:
- This removes your right to make decisions on behalf of your society, such as, deciding what happens to any assets it owns. The Registrar could direct how to distribute them instead.
- This takes away the separate legal identity your society previously had. This means members could be held personally liable for debts or obligations (such as leases) owed by the society. Similarly, your society could not sign any new contracts in its name.
- The name your society used will no longer have any protection – another group could incorporate using the same name.
Published 5 October 2023