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How to structure and set up your organisation

We’ve broken down the process of formally establishing and setting up into manageable steps.

Content last updated 27/06/2023

Setting up an incorporated legal structure

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Once your group has decided which incorporated structure to use, the next step is to set up the separate legal body (which will be registered with the relevant government body).

The incorporation process is different for each type of legal structure. Information on setting up a co-operative, a company limited by guarantee, an Indigenous corporation and an incorporated association follows.

If you're unsure which legal structure your organisation should set up as, go to our resources on Which legal structure should you choose?

National structures


A co-operative is a type of incorporated legal structure that may be suitable for some not-for-profit organisations.

Our fact sheet provides information on setting up (incorporating) a group as a co-operative in Australia. It covers the Co-operatives National Law (CNL), which now applies in all Australian states and territories. Queensland was the last jurisdiction to adopt the CNL and it started there on 1 December 2020.


Companies limited by guarantee (CLGs)

Our fact sheet on setting up a company limited by guarantee under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) includes information about:

  • what is a company limited by guarantee?
  • what laws apply to companies limited by guarantee?
  • how do you set up a company limited by guarantee?
Setting up a company limited by guarantee

Indigenous corporations

Our fact sheet on setting up an Indigenous corporation under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act) 2006 (Cth) includes information about:

  • what is an Indigenous corporation and what are the benefits of incorporating as an Indigenous corporation?
  • legislation that governs the setting up of an Indigenous corporation
  • how to set up a not-for-profit Indigenous corporation
Indigenous corporations

Incorporated associations

We have fact sheets on setting up an incorporated association in each state or territory.

Simply select the state or territory where your organisation will be based and download the fact sheet:

The content on this webpage was last updated in May 2023 and is not legal advice. See full disclaimer and copyright notice.

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