Things to do before you apply

What you need to do before applying to incorporate a charitable trust board

A charitable trust board can be established by individuals (trustees) or by an unincorporated society. There are different requirements for each when applying for incorporation.

You can apply for incorporation online, by uploading the required form; or manually, by returning the form to us in the post or by email.

1. Gather the information you’ll need

When applying to incorporate as a charitable trust board you’ll be asked to provide the following information:

  • the name you’ve chosen for the board
  • the address of your registered office
  • an address for communication with us
  • the names and addresses of the trustees or society members
  • the signatures of the trustees or society members.

Choosing a name

Before choosing a name for your trust board, be sure that you can use it.

The name you choose cannot be identical or almost identical to that of another charitable trust board, or other body corporate (for example, a company or incorporated society), unless the organisation has given its written consent to us.

Your application will be rejected if the name you have chosen is unavailable.

How to be sure the name is available

You can search for a charitable trust board on this website, or use the search options on the Companies Office websites to perform a broader search of body corporates and other entity types.

Search for trust boards Search for companies Search other registers

Other restrictions on names

  • The name you choose cannot contain certain words (for example, ANZAC, Royal) the use of which are prohibited by other pieces of legislation.
  • We may also reject names that are considered to be offensive or not in the public interest.

Your registered office address

Regardless of the type of board, a charitable trust must have a registered office. This address should be a physical location and include the street number in a town or city.

If the address is a named building, this name should be provided. If the building has more than one floor, or is made up of a suite of offices, then the floor or suite number should also be included.

You cannot use a post office box, private bag or DX address as the registered office.

2. Prepare your forms and documents

The application form you’ll be required to complete, and the documents you’ll need to submit, will depend on whether you’re applying for incorporation of trustees, or a society.

Trustees as a board – what to submit

Trustees applying to incorporate as a charitable trust board must complete the an application form (Form CT1).

The application form must be signed by a majority of the trustees (original signatures only). There must be at least one trustee.

Each applicant is required to provide their full name, physical address and signature on the application form.

As part of the application, you’ll be asked to provide a statutory declaration by one of the applicants, under the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957, either identifying other trusts through which applicants hold property, or stating that there are no other trusts. The declaration should be dated on the day the application is made.

You’ll also need to submit a copy of your trust deed, and any amendments to that document. This must be certified by one of the applicants, and include the following statement:

“I hereby certify that this is a correct copy of the trust deed the [name of trust board] as per section 10(2)(a) of the Charitable Trusts Act 1957.”

Download the application form you need

If you're applying online you will still need to prepare an application form to upload.

If you're going to apply manually by submitting PDF forms, you'll need to download and complete a slightly different version of the application form.

Society as a board – what to submit

A society applying to incorporate as a charitable trust board should complete the application form CT2.

An application for incorporation can only be made by a society if authorised by the society's members. This requires that:

  • the application is approved by a majority of the society’s members at a meeting
  • reasonable notice is given to members of the intention to hold that meeting, and its purpose
  • the application is authorised by the rules of that society.

The application must be signed by at least five members of the society, or, where there are trustees for that society, by the majority. Each applicant must provide their full name, physical address and signature on the application form.

Download the application form you need

If you're applying online you will still need to prepare an application form to upload.

If you intend to apply manually by submitting PDF forms, you'll need to download and complete a slightly different version of the application form.

You’ll also need to submit:

A copy of your constitution, or set of rules

This must be certified by one of the applicants, and include the following statement:

“I hereby certify that this is a correct copy of the rules of the [name of trust board] as per section 10(2) of the Charitable Trusts Act 1957.”

If there are no rules, one of the applicants should instead provide a statutory declaration describing the purpose of the society, how it operates, and how persons becomes a member, or cease to be a member.

A statutory declaration

This statutory declaration needs to confirm that the society has authorised the application, and describe the way in which this authorisation was obtained.

3. Apply for incorporation

You’re then ready to file your application for incorporation.

All help topics

Getting started on the register 6 guides

Find out about charitable trusts and the Charitable Trusts Register, how to set up an online services account, and where to start when incorporating a charitable trust board.

Searching the Charitable Trusts Register 2 guides

Searching the register for information about charitable trust boards and their status.

Starting a charitable trust board 3 guides

To incorporate a charitable trust board you must submit an application, along with the required documents. There is no registration fee.

Keeping charitable trust board details up to date 4 guides

Once you've registered your charitable trust board, you're required by law to keep certain information about it up to date.

Ending a charitable trust board 2 guides

There are two ways to end a charitable trust board. If the board is no longer operating, it can apply to be dissolved. If it is unable to pay its debts, it can be placed in liquidation.

Restoring a charitable trust board to the register 1 guide

A trust board that has been removed from the Charitable Trusts Register can apply to us to be restored.

Managing your online account 5 guides

Forms 1 guide

Find the forms you'll need to register your charitable trust board or keep its details up to date. Please note: there are no fees for registering or maintaining a charitable trust board.