Becoming a legal entity 

Incorporation

The first requirement for a not for profit organisation to be a legal entity is for that body to undertake incorporation. In Queensland, the responsible State Government body is the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which is part of the Justice Department.

What's required? 

An application must be made to OFT, accompanied by a draft Constitution and evidence that the members of the association have agreed to its adoption. Relevant legislation is the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (as amended), and Associations Incorporation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2007. The Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999 (Updated) also applies, and the draft Constitution must conform to Schedules 3, 4, and 5 of that Regulation.

Many associations rely on the OFT Model Rules for their first attempt at writing a Constitution, as those rules, although generic, do cover all of the issues required by OFT.  The Network Committee may be able to supply constitutions from other U3A for comparison.

Where can I get the forms?

All of the documents referred to here may be found, and downloaded from the OFT website at http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/. You will need to follow the links for Forms then Incorporation.

Incorporation, annual renewal and changes to your constitution each attract a fee to be lodged with the appropriately completed form. Each form will tell you the cost.