Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations

Attention - Important information!The ACNC and ORIC are working together. Even though your corporation may have obligations to both regulators, all you need to do is continue to operate and report to ORIC like you have always done.

Some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations are registered as corporations under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act). These corporations are regulated by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC).

Some of these corporations were also recognised (endorsed) by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as charities. If they were endorsed by the ATO before 3 December 2012 they were automatically registered as charities with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).  If not automatically registered as a charity, your corporation may have recently registered or be thinking of registering as a charity with the ACNC.

Other government regulators

Depending on your organisation’s legal structure, purposes and activities, your organisation may also have obligations to other government agencies. For example, your organisation may be a cooperative or an incorporated association registered with a state or territory regulator, or a company limited by guarantee regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

Registered under the CATSI Act as a corporation, as well as with the ACNC as a charity

If your organisation is registered under the CATSI Act as a corporation, as well as with the ACNC as a charity, ORIC continues to be your corporate regulator. ORIC and the ACNC are working together and your corporation can continue to operate and report to ORIC like it has always done.

Having your corporation’s profile on the ACNC Register is an added advantage. The ACNC register is publicly available and used by volunteers, donors, funding bodies and governments. As a registered charity your corporation will also receive a certificate of registration which can be used to show people, for example used in funding applications. Read more information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations on the ACNC Register.

Attention:You need to know! Check both registers to make sure your corporation’s information is correct.

Search the public Register of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations

Search the ACNC Register

Obligations to the ACNC

If your corporation meets all requirements under the CATSI Act and maintains entitlement to be registered as a charity, it will meet its ongoing obligations with the ACNC.

ACNC obligation

What does my organisation need to do?

Maintain ongoing entitlement to registration as a charity
  • Remain not-for-profit
  • Have a charitable purpose
  • Be for the public benefit
  • Meet other requirements for registration as a charity.

Read about maintaining ongoing entitlement to registration
Notify the ACNC of certain changes Continue to notify ORIC of changes to your corporation. ORIC will share these changes with the ACNC. There are some optional changes about your corporation’s charity status that you can notify the ACNC of. Read more about  when to contact ORIC or ACNC
Keep records Continue to follow record keeping obligations under the CATSI Act.
Report to the ACNC each year Continue to report to ORIC as usual. ORIC will share these reports with the ACNC.
Comply with governance standards Continue to follow directors’ duties under the CATSI Act.

When to contact ACNC or ORIC

Contact ACNC for information about who can register as a charity, the registration process, and ongoing obligations to the ACNC.

If you deregister with ORIC and you want to stop being a charity, send us a completed Form 5A: Application to revoke charity registration. If you do not send this form , we will think you want to remain a charity and meet the ongoing obligations. Not meeting the ongoing obligations means we may give you a financial penalty.

If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and would prefer assistance from an Aboriginal Liaison Officer, tell us when you contact us and we will arrange this for you.

Contact ORIC for information about incorporating (registering) an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation, running a corporation, compliance with the CATSI Act or deregistering a corporation.