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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
The Not-for-profit Law 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 the Not-for-profit Law page Social Enterprises. Remember that social enterprises can be structured using either a not-for-profit or for-profit structure, depending on the business model.
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
The first chapter of this manual provides information on starting a community organisation.
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
This ATO information sheet provides the ATO interpretation of what is a 'not-for-profit' organisation.
For people wanting to set up 'for profit' organisations (businesses)
If you want to start up a 'for-profit' organisation, this Victorian State Government website has information to help start up a business in Victoria.
This Federal Government website provides information for people wanting to start up businesses in Australia.