Not-for-profit Law
Legal help for community organisations

Before you start

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Some important decisions need to be made before you even begin the process of starting a not-for-profit.

The way you decide to organise your group may be one of the most important decisions you make because, with the right legal structure, your group will:

  • be able carry out its activities effectively, and in a way that complies with the law
  • minimise the chance the group will run into legal difficulties (and costs) as it grows or changes, and
  • be in a better position to deal with legal issues if they do occur

Our resources are designed to help you think about some of the key issues involved in starting a new community organisation.

First, complete the checklist below with questions about your group.

For more information about what not-for-profit means, read our fact sheet:

Some organisations with a social mission are looking at structures other than not-for-profits, like Pty Ltd companies (in particular social enterprises).  If you are thinking of starting a social enterprise, go to our Social Enterprises webpage. Remember that social enterprises can be structured using either a not-for-profit or for-profit structure, depending on the business model.

Additional resources

Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

For people wanting to set up 'for profit' organisations (businesses)

Last Updated: 15 June 2021