This fact sheet provides an overview of laws and regulations affecting charities in the Northern Territory (NT), not a complete guide. For more information about laws and regulations in the NT, please consult the relevant regulatory agencies.

Information on ACNC-related obligations can be found on our Ongoing Obligations page.

Charities that fundraise

There is no legislation in the NT governing fundraising.

Licensing NT is responsible for regulating any fundraising conducted through authorised games, such as raffles.

To find out more contact Licensing NT.

For more information about fundraising, see our factsheet on Fundraising in the Northern Territory.

Incorporated associations

Some charities in the NT are incorporated under the Associations Act 2003 (NT). These are called 'incorporated associations' and have 'Inc.' or 'Incorporated' at the end of their name.

Incorporated associations in the NT have a number of obligations to Licensing NT, including keeping appropriate financial records, following their rules and holding annual general meetings.

More information about this is available on the NT Government website.

Annual reporting obligations

Registered charities that are incorporated associations in the NT can use their ACNC Annual Information Statement to fulfil their reporting obligations to Licensing NT.

This means that by submitting the ACNC’s Annual Information Statement, an association won’t need to submit a report to Licensing NT or pay Licensing NT’s annual fee. To take part in this arrangement, a charity must include the following in the Annual Information Statement:

  • incorporated association number issued by Licensing NT
  • annual financial statements (if required by Licensing NT).

Ordinarily, the ACNC doesn’t require a small charity to submit a financial report as part of its Annual Information Statement.

But if a small charity wants to take advantage of this reporting arrangement with the NT, it will need to submit one as part of the Annual Information Statement.

For medium and large charities, submitting a financial report was always a requirement in the ACNC’s Annual Information Statement.

Medium and large associations must ensure financial reports they provide to the ACNC meet all the ACNC reporting requirements. To help associations adjust to these requirements, the ACNC has provided a two-year transitional reporting arrangement, covering the 2019 and 2020 reporting periods.

For more information, visit the Licensing NT website.

Other obligations

Associations must still notify Licensing NT of changes to the association’s name, details or rules:

When to contact ACNC or Licensing NT

I want to:ACNCLicensing NTAdditional information
Incorporate an associationNoYes
Register as a charityYesNoA charity must be approved as incorporated associations before applying to the ACNC.
Change a charity’s rulesYesYesBefore a charity notifies the ACNC of a change to its rules, Licensing NT must approve the change.
Change a charity’s nameYesYes
Update a charity’s address or contact detailsYesYes
Update a charity’s Responsible Persons, including the secretaryYesYes
Submit the Annual Information Statement and financial reportYesNo
Revoke a charity registrationYesNoA charity must revoke its registration with the ACNC when it winds up.
Wind up an associationNoYesIf an association is no longer running, it must be wound up with Licensing NT too.

Cooperatives

A cooperative is a type of organisation that is owned, controlled and used by its members. There are different types of cooperatives.

Cooperatives in the NT are regulated under uniform national legislation.

To find out more, visit the NT Government website or call 1300 65 44 99.

Other legal structures

Information about reporting and other obligations for charities set up with other legal structures is available on these pages:

Territory taxes

Charities that operate in the NT may also be eligible to receive concessions on some territory taxes, including payroll tax, land tax and stamp duty from the Territory Revenue Office.

To find out more, visit the Territory Revenue Office website or call 1300 305 353.

Other general obligations

There are a number of other laws that affect the operation of charities in the NT covering areas such as employment, trading, occupational health and safety and anti-discrimination. For example, charities are obliged to meet obligations under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act.

Some charities may have responsibilities that are specific to their area of work. For example, charities that provide aged care services may need to meet other obligations or hold accreditations as part of working in this field.

Other regulators

The ACNC website has lists of state, territory and Commonwealth Government agencies with relevance to registered charities: