How to get an ABN if you’re an incorporated association

We ran into a lot of difficulty going through this process.

The Problem

The difficulty was that we could not complete the ABN registration process on the ABR website because we didn’t have an ACN (kill me now). ASIC manages ACNs and said we didn’t need one for and ABN, call the ABR. The ABR says we do need an ACN, call ASIC. After mentioning all this to the ABR, they said “don’t worry about the error message, just keep clicking, which unsurprisingly, didnt work.

The solution

Was to leave the ACN blank, but this was only acceptable by the form if a TFN was provided, so that was the solution. Provide a TFN.

Not for profit status

(We haven’t completed this at time of writing)

  • Charities must be endorsed by the ATO to be exempt from income tax.
  • Before a charity can be endorsed, it must be registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. REQUIRES ABN
  • Organisations that are not charities can self-assess (that is, work out for themselves) whether they are exempt from income tax.

This clause to be added into constitution:
‘The assets and income of the organisation shall be applied solely to further its objects and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the organisation except as genuine compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation.’
‘In the event of the organisation being dissolved, all assets that remain after such dissolution and the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall be transferred to another organisation with similar purposes, which is charitable at law and which has rules prohibiting the distribution of its assets and income to its members.’