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How to run the organisation

Find out what’s involved in governing your not-for-profit organisation in compliance with the law, from setting up your rules to holding meetings.

Content last updated 13/06/2024

Holding meetings

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What legal issues do you need to consider when holding meetings?

Not-for-profit organisations hold a number of different types of meetings including: 

  • management meetings (committee meetings)
  • sub-committee meetings, and 
  • annual and special general meetings of members 

An organisation must conduct meetings in accordance with the legal requirements that apply to the type of meetings being held, as well as the requirements set out in an organisation’s rules or constitution. 

If the requirements for calling and holding meetings set out in an organisation’s rules are inconsistent with the law, there may be adverse consequences, including making the meeting invalid. 

The main legal considerations for holding meetings include: 

  • whether there are strict requirements to hold meetings or special rights to call a meeting 
  • providing proper notice (time periods, content of notice and required recipients) 
  • meeting quorums (minimum number of people present to make a meeting valid)
  • the usual procedure 
  • how and when to adjourn meetings 
  • voting rights (and proxy rights) 
  • meeting resolutions, and 
  • taking and keeping meeting minutes
  • lodging relevant documents at the conclusion of the meeting 

In addition to complying with the legal requirements for running a meeting, your organisation can follow a number of 'best practice' procedures to make sure meetings are run efficiently, and in a way that assists the organisation to achieve its objects. 

Different legal structures have slightly different laws about meetings.  

For Companies Limited by Guarantee that are charities, the ACNC has published information on holding meetings.

Don’t know your legal structure?

To find out your organisation’s legal structure: 

  • If your organisation is a charity, search the ACNC register. Once you have found your organisation’s entry, you can check your rules or constitution which should state the type of legal structure. You can search by name and by ABN or ACN. 

  • If your organisation is not a charity, you should start with an Australian Business Register (ABR) search. You will need the name and ideally the ABN or ACN of your organisation. If your organisation is a company limited by guarantee (a federal not-for-profit structure) this will be indicated in the entry as ‘Australian public company’. If your organisation is a state-based not-for-profit structure such as an incorporated association or a co-operative, it's likely that the ABR will list it as ’other incorporated entity’. You will then need to search your state or territory regulator of not-for-profits to confirm your structure. 

Calling and holding meetings for incorporated associations

Incorporated associations hold a number of different types of meetings to conduct their business.

Our fact sheets detail state or territory-specific information including:

  • calling and holding the annual general meeting
  • calling and holding special general meetings
  • rules for general meetings where there will be a special resolution
  • calling and holding committee meetings

Select the state or territory where your organisation is based and download the relevant fact sheet:

More information

The content on this webpage was last updated in July 2022 and is not legal advice. See full disclaimer and copyright notice.

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