You may have heard that law changes are coming soon for incorporated societies, and these will affect society-based charitable trust boards registered under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957.
You should be aware of the impact on:
- existing society-based charitable trust boards
- groups considering incorporation as a society-based charitable trust board.
Existing society-based charitable trust boards
If you’re already registered as a society-based charitable trust board, you will have the option to reregister as an incorporated society under the Incorporated Societies Act 2022, from October this year.
Reregistering means your organisation would change entity type from a charitable trust board to an incorporated society. You may need to seek expert advice from your lawyer, accountant or other professional to help you decide which organisational structure best suits your needs.
- If you decide to reregister, you can apply any time from October 2023 right up to April 2026.
- If you decide not to reregister, your trust board will remain on the Charitable Trusts Register. You will be able to continue operating as you do now.
Groups considering incorporation as a trust board
If you’re part of a group that’s looking at formalising its structure; the options are changing. From October this year, you will no longer be able to apply for incorporation as a society-based charitable trust board. Instead, you may wish to consider forming an incorporated society with a charitable purpose.
It’s important you understand the differences between these two legal structures. You might need to seek expert advice from your lawyer, accountant or other professional to help you decide which organisational structure best suits your needs.
An overview of the law changes for incorporated societies
The Incorporated Societies Act 2022 comes into full effect in October this year. The current Act is over 100 years old, so change has been a long time coming. The new Act will modernise the way societies operate. Existing societies will be required to reregister under the new Act and will have from October this year to April 2026 to do so. New societies wanting to register after October, will automatically register under the new Act.
Under the new Act, societies will need to:
- provide a constitution that’s compliant with the new Act.
- include an appropriate dispute resolution process in their constitution.
- have a committee that’s responsible for managing the operation and affairs of the society.
- have at least 10 members and ensure all new members provide consent to becoming a member.
- provide at least one person’s contact details (these details will be used by the Registrar to contact the society).
More information is on our Law Changes Hub
We’ve only mentioned a few highlights of the law changes here. If you’d like to know more, visit our Law Changes Hub for all the latest information. We will continue to update and provide resources to help you prepare for reregistration. Make sure you sign up to receive email updates from us.