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
- Maintaining a register of your members
- If your rules or name change
- If other details change
- If your society needs winding up
- Other legal obligations
- Breaches of the law
- Want to know more?
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.
- Refer to the Inland Revenue Department for information about a society's tax obligations .
- Contact the Department of Internal Affairs for information about running events involving gambling (for example, housie) or applying for community grants .
- Contact your local council for information about running events and compliance with local bylaws, for example, holding a street fair.
- For information about selling liquor at society functions, contact the District Licensing Agency nearest to where the event will be held .
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: