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

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

Charities that fundraise

Fundraising (including lotteries and bingo) in South Australia is regulated by Consumer and Business Services (CBS).

Fundraising activities

CBS is responsible for registering and regulating organisations conducting fundraising activities.

Fundraising licenses

Charities are required to have a Collections for Charitable Purposes (CCP) license if they fundraise for one or more ‘charitable purposes.’

Charities can receive an automatic license to collect for ‘charitable purposes’ through the registration application form and the Annual Information Statement. If an organisation applies to be registered by the ACNC but is not successful, it will need to contact CBS directly.

Charities will need to provide the following information in the registration application form and from the 2020 Annual Information Statement:

  • the charitable purpose or purposes that they intend to fundraise for
  • a description of how they will provide relief to the beneficiaries of the charitable purpose or purposes
  • consent for the ACNC to notify CBS of the charity’s intention to fundraise in South Australia.

Annual reporting

Charities are not required to lodge annual fundraising statements to CBS. Instead, they can submit the Annual Information Statement to the ACNC.

alert icon Note: Charities should provide their Charitable Collections License number (SA Fundraising license number) in the Annual Information Statement.

From the 2018 reporting period, medium and large charities must ensure that the financial reports they provide to the ACNC meet all the ACNC reporting requirements.

Lotteries and bingo

CBS is also responsible for regulating any fundraising conducted through lotteries and bingo. Charities may be required to hold a license to conduct a major lottery or for bingo sessions.

To find out more, visit the CBS website.

alert icon Note: For more information about fundraising, see our factsheet on Fundraising in South Australia.

Incorporated associations

Some charities in South Australia are incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1985 (SA). These are called 'incorporated associations' and have 'Inc.' or 'Incorporated' at the end of their name.

Incorporated associations have a number of responsibilities such as keeping appropriate financial records, following their rules and holding annual general meetings. These responsibilities are regulated by Consumer and Business Services (CBS).

Annual reporting obligations

From 1 December 2016, there has been a change to the way that South Australian associations report.

Associations only need to report to the ACNC using the Annual Information Statement – they will not be required to submit a separate annual statement to CBS.

alert icon Note: Charities should provide their incorporated association number when submitting the Annual Information Statement.

From the 2018 reporting period, medium and large charities must ensure that the financial reports they provide to the ACNC meet all the ACNC reporting requirements.

Other obligations

Associations must notify CBS to the association’s name, details or rules:

When to contact the ACNC or CBS

I want to:ACNCCBSAdditional information
Incorporate an associationNoYesA charity must be approved as an incorporated association before applying to the ACNC.
Register as a charityYesNo
Change a charity’s rulesYesYesBefore a charity notifies the ACNC of a change to its rules, CBS must approve the change.
Change a charity’s nameYesYesBefore a charity notifies the ACNC of a change to its name, CBS must approve the change.
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.
Ending an associationNoYesIf an association is no longer running, it must notify CBS.

Cooperatives

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

Charities that are cooperatives are also regulated by the Consumer and Business Services.

To find out more, visit the SA Government website.

Other legal structures

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

State taxes

Charities that operate in South Australia may also be eligible to receive concessions on some state taxes, including payroll tax, land tax and stamp duty from Revenue SA.

To find out more, visit the Revenue SA website.

Local government

Some local government authorities may offer concessions to charities. For more information, contact the local government authority in the areas where the charity operates.

You can search a directory of local government authorities in South Australia on the website of the Local Government Association of South Australia.

Other general obligations

There are a number of other laws that affect charities 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 Act 2012.

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: