Things to do before you apply
Drafting your rules and choosing a name
To incorporate a society you’ll need to submit an application form, either manually (by post or email) or online. Before you can apply, however, there are a few things you’ll need to have already done.
You will be required to:
- draft a constitution (set of rules)
- choose a name
- hold a meeting of your members.
1. Drafting a set of rules
An incorporated society is required to have a constitution (set of rules) that establish its 'objects' (purpose), and how it will operate. You’ll be asked to provide a copy of your rules when you file your application.
The Incorporated Societies Act 1908 sets out the minimum requirements for a society’s rules, which must be clear and comprehensive.
Constitution Builder tool helps with drafting rules
To help you draft your rules, you might like to use our online tool — the ‘Constitution Builder’.
The Constitution Builder is able to produce a draft document containing most of the content required in a constitution — however, it should not be considered a substitute for expert legal advice.
Using our Constitution Builder to draft your rulesUse our Constitution Builder tool
Look at rules of other societies
It may be also useful for you to look at the rules of other societies, particularly those with a similar 'objects' to your own.Search for societies
Seek legal advice if you need further assistance
Before finalising your constitution you’ll need to discuss the draft rules with your society’s members, and consult a professional.
2. Choosing a name
You’ll also need to choose a name for your society.
The name you choose —
- must be included in your rules
- can include macrons
- must end with the word ‘Incorporated’.
There are some restrictions
The name you choose cannot contain certain words (for example, ANZAC, Royal) the use of which are prohibited by other pieces of legislation.
It cannot be the same as, or similar to that of, another incorporated society or body corporate (for example, a company), unless that organisation gives its written consent to us.
We may also decline names that are, in our opinion, undesirable.
Checking the name is available
You can check that the name you’ve chosen is available to use by using the search options provided on the Companies Office websites.Search for societies Search for a company Search other registers
3. Holding a meeting of your members
Once you’ve drafted your rules, you can circulate these for comment among your members. You’ll then need to call a meeting of your society to:
- approve the rules
- resolve to apply for incorporation
- decide who will be the president, secretary and treasurer
- choose who will fill the committee positions.
You’re then ready to file your application for incorporation.