Change my charity’s ABN or legal structure

Change to ABN

If your charity has a new ABN, and no other changes have occurred, please complete Form 3B: Change of charity details to notify the ACNC. If other changes have occurred, such as the charity has a new legal structure, changed its charitable purposes, or merged with another entity, then you will need to provide the ACNC with additional information.

*See the table below for more information.

Legal structure

Charities may change their legal structure for a variety of reasons.  It may be because you wish to:

  • incorporate your unincorporated charity (for example, so that you can open a bank account, provide better legal liability protection for your members and enter into agreements in the charity’s name instead of an individual’s name)
  • incorporate as a company with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (for example, because your charity has become larger and wants to operate across Australia and overseas)
  • merge your charity with another charity (for example, because you have a similar purpose and want to share resources), or
  • register your charity with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, so that you can apply for certain government grants for indigenous charities. For more information, see the federal government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy (as at July 2014).

In many cases this will not mean you are required to re-register with the ACNC.
Please see the table below for guidance:

Type of change Action required

Unincorporated entity to an incorporated or company structure without changes to purposes

Complete Form 3B: Change of charity details and include copy of new governing document.

Incorporated entity to company structure or Registrable Australian Body without changes to purposes

Complete Form 3B: Change of charity details and include copy of new governing document.

Incorporated or company structure to unincorporated entity without changes to purposes

Complete Form 3B: Change of charity details and include copy of new governing document. We may also ask for additional information.

Charities merging and creating a new legal entity

New registration application required for new entity, and complete Form 5A: Application to revoke charity registration to revoke the original charity.