Neither local, state or Commonwealth governments, or Landcare Tasmania is liable for any claims made against your group. Your group is entirely responsible for its actions and liabilities.
Rarely do Landcare group activities result in medical emergencies or legal actions against that group. However, there is the ever present risk that one day something could happen and your group could be faced with legal action or liability for damage or personal injury. This page provides information about incorporating your group which adds a level of protection to your members. If your group is not incorporated we highly recommend you start that process today.
The benefits of incorporating your group
- group can enter into contracts
- liability of members is limited
- group qualifies for government grants
- automatic approval to solicit for charitable donations
The risks of NOT being an incorporated group
An unincorporated group or organisation has no separate legal identity from that of its members. It is simply a group of people who are doing the same thing together. If any actions are brought against the group, the courts need to place responsibility somewhere, and this responsibility is likely to be allocated to the committee. Without incorporation, individuals and their assets are exposed to legal risk.
Additionally, there can be difficulties opening bank accounts, acquiring insurance, and identifying who owns what property (eg tools and equipment) without incorporation. Many organisations will only fund incorporated organisations.
The peace of mind in having the right protection for you and your members is worth it!
How much does it cost to incorporate a group?
The cost for incorporating a group is $153 at the time of writing this. For more up to date information click here.
What does my group need to have to incorporate?
- an appointed public officer
- appointed committee members
- an agreed upon set of rules
- funds to pay the incorporation fee
- a completed Incorporation Application Form
- a completed Public Officer Particulars Form
What should my group do first if we want to get incorporated?
Here are steps to follow to become an incorporate group:
- Call a meeting of the members
- Decide who will be the Public Officer. This person must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of Tasmania.
The Public Officer is the group’s official nominee on whom notice is required to be served in the legal sense. The Public Officer must keep the Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading informed of the association’s constitutional changes and financial situation (via the Annual Returns).
Unless the rules of your group say otherwise, your committee is free to select whoever they think is best for the job. It may be a committee member, a member of your group or someone external to your group.
- Decide who will fill the roles of the Committee. Most associations have a Secretary, President, Treasurer. If that structure doesn't fit your group's needs we recommend seeking legal advice.
- Vote upon and approve the name of the association
- Approve the constitution/rules (associations are governed by a set of rules – you can create your own or adopt a set of Model Rules)
- Print, complete and lodge the Application for Incorporation form.
- Print, complete and lodge the Public Officer Particulars Form.
- Lodge the forms together with the constitution/model rules and the incorporation fee
The fee to incorporate is a one-off amount paid when you initially incorporate. This increases after each financial year (1 July). In 2016 it was $153.
Incorporation forms can be lodged electronically; by post to Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading, GPO Box 1244, Hobart TAS 7001; or in person at any Service Tasmania outlet.
Once the application has been approved a Certificate of Incorporation will be issued to signify that incorporation has been granted.
Does Landcare Tasmania offer the service of helping groups become incorporated?
Currently this is an added service that we provide when we have the capacity to do so. If you are a member and would like some help please contact us and we will do what we can within our means to help.
Where can I find more information about incorporating my group?
The Tasmanian Governement website is a good place to look, here is the link.
Also, here is a guide we have put together to help you.