Not-for-profit Law
Legal help for community organisations

Holding Meetings

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There are a number of different types of meetings not-for-profits hold including:

  • management meetings
  • sub-committee meetings, and
  • annual and special general meetings or members.

Organisations must conduct meetings in accordance with legal requirements that apply to the type of meetings being held, and also follow requirements set out in organisations rules (but note that if requirements in rules are inconsistent with the law, the legal requirements apply).

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)
  • how and when to adjourn meetings
  • voting rights (and proxy rights)
  • meeting resolutions, and
  • keeping and storing meeting minutes.

In addition to complying with the legal requirements for running a meeting, there are also a number of 'best practice' procedures that can be followed to ensure 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 provides information on holding meetings.

ACNC Tools and Resources

Don’t know your legal structure?

There are a few steps you can take to find out your organisation’s legal structure. Firstly, if your organisation is a charity, the best place to look is on 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 the Australian Business Register search. You will need the name and ideally the ABN or ACN of your organisation. If your group 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 group is a state-based not-for-profit structure such as an incorporated association or a co-operative, it is likely that the ABR will list it as “Other Incorporated Entity”. You will then need to search your state/territory regulator of not-for-profits to confirm your structure.

Incorporated associations in Victoria may hold a number of different types of meetings in order to conduct their business. The following fact sheet details the rules and procedures for calling and holding annual general meetings, special general meetings, committee meetings and meetings where there is a special resolution.

The Secretary's Satchel also provides detailed information on holding meetings for Victorian incorporated associations. See Parts 5, 6 and 7 on our Secretary's Satchel page: 

 

Incorporated associations in New South Wales may hold a number of different types of meetings in order to conduct their business. The following fact sheet details the rules and procedures for calling and holding annual general meetings, special general meetings, committee meetings and meetings where there is a special resolution. 

Not-for-profit Law's Guide to Running an Incorporated Association in NSW also provides detailed information on holding meeting for NSW incorporated associations. See parts 5, 6 and 7 of the guide below: 

Incorporated associations in Queensland may hold a number of different types of meetings in order to conduct their business. The following fact sheet details the rules and procedures for calling and holding annual general meetings, special general meetings, committee meetings and meetings where there is a special resolution. 

Incorporated associations in South Australia may hold a number of different types of meetings in order to conduct their business. The following fact sheet details the rules and procedures for calling and holding annual general meetings, special general meetings, committee meetings and meetings where there is a special resolution.

Incorporated associations in the Northern Territory may hold a number of different types of meetings in order to conduct their business. The following fact sheet details the rules and procedures for calling and holding annual general meetings, special general meetings, committee meetings and meetings where there is a special resolution.

Incorporated associations in the Australian Capital Territory may hold a number of different types of meetings in order to conduct their business. The following fact sheet details the rules and procedures for calling and holding annual general meetings, special general meetings, committee meetings and meetings where there is a special resolution.

Incorporated associations in Tasmania may hold a number of different types of meetings in order to conduct their business. The following fact sheet details the rules and procedures for calling and holding annual general meetings, special general meetings, commitee meetings and meetings where there is a special resolution.

Extra Resources

Meeting procedures and voting

Governance