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Re: Unincorporated vs. Incorporated associations?

Hi Tony

I guess the Govt. isn't much interested in unincorporated associations.

Used to be that all clubs and local groups were unincorporated associations and
didn't have a great deal of problems then along came fear and incorporation in
case  ???? representing the unknown.

Suddenly the responsibility  became too much mentally to allow for what if

An unincorporated association does not have a legal entity and cannot own
anything. It is nessacary to appoint a Trustee who holds assets on behalf of the
association. Obviously this person is trusted or you wouldn't appoint th4em as

I'm sorry to see the UA go as incorporated associations have fees and a need to
keep extended documentation - the biggest problem is often fees for an Auditor
sometimes in hundreds of dollars even if the association has only a few dollars

I'm Trustee for several and am glad I don't have to find the money for fees.

Can I suggest that the Trustee has to be one of the signatories to the cheque
book so as to be aware of any expenditure for which he/her may become liable.

The system has worked for over a hundred years as people got together for a
common purpose. I understand the legal name is A Community Association with a

I bought a book 'The Law Relating to non profit associations in Australia and
New Zealand' by K Fletcher ISBN 0 455 20623 6
 It cost $60.95 at McGills over 10 years ago so try the public library.

The writer quotes Lord Lindley ( presumeably House of Lords) who is treated
subsequently as explanatory of the character of all non-profit associations:

'Clubs are associations of a peculiar nature. They are societies of which the
Members are perpetually changing. They are not partnerships; they are not
associations for gain; and the feature which distinguishes them from other
societies is that no member as such becomes liable to pay to the funds of the
society or to anyone else any money beyond the subscription required by the
rules of the club to be paid so long as he remains a member.'

'It is upon this fundemental condition not usually expressed but understood by
everyone that clubs are formed ;  and this distinguishing feature has been often
judicially recognised. It has been so recognised in actions by creditors and in
winding up proceedings.'

My advice :

Join Computerbank and pay $10 membership for each member until you decide if
your organisation is going to grow- they have incorporated status - ask them
about joining.


become an unincorporated association until you get a Govt. grant or some money
(Govt won't give you a grant unless you incorporate)

regards Bill

ComputerBank Australia -- http://www.computerbank.org.au/