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

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

Charities that fundraise

Fundraising in WA is regulated by two government agencies:

Fundraising activities

Charitable fundraising in WA is regulated by Consumer Protection under the Charitable Collections Act 1946 (WA).

From 1 July 2020, charities will benefit from a new streamlined arrangement between the ACNC and Consumer Protection.

Renewal of fundraising licenses

From July 2020, Consumer Protection will issue continuous licences (charities were previously required to renew their license every three years).

Charities will be issued with a continuous license at their next renewal date.

Annual reporting

From the 2020 Annual Information Statement, charities will not be required to submit an annual statement or financial reports to Consumer Protection. Instead, they can submit the Annual Information Statement to the ACNC.

Note: To participate in this arrangement, charities must provide their WA fundraising license number when submitting the Annual Information Statement.

Small charities (who were previously required to provide audited financial reports to Consumer Protection) will not be required to audit their financial reports (unless required by their constitution or other regulator).

Charities that are medium or large andonly fundraising in WA must ensure that the financial reports they provide to the ACNC meet all ACNC reporting requirements.

The ACNC has approved a transition period for the 2020 and 2021 reporting periods to help charities to adjust to these requirements.

Other obligations

Licensed charities must continue to notify Consumer Protection of any changes to its contact details, Principal Executive Officers and appointed auditors/reviewers (where applicable).

To find out more about annual reporting, visit the Consumer Protection website or call 1300 304 074.

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries is responsible for regulating any fundraising conducted through authorised games, such as raffles.

To find out more, visit the Department’s website.

alert icon For more detailed information about fundraising, refer to our Fundraising in Western Australia webpage.

Incorporated associations

Some charities in WA are incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 (WA). These are called 'incorporated associations' and usually 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 in WA by Consumer Protection.

Annual reporting obligations

The ACNC and Consumer Protection have entered into a streamlined reporting arrangement from the 2020 Annual Information Statement.

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 Consumer Protection.

The Annual Information Statement includes additional information that we collect on behalf of Consumer Protection. To participate in this arrangement, associations must include the following information in the Annual Information Statement:

  • their WA incorporated association number (IARN), and
  • the date of the Annual General Meeting (AGM), and
  • confirmation of whether the charity has more than six voting members.

Associations that do not answer these questions will need to continue to submit a separate annual statement to Consumer Protection.

Note: Charities that form part of an ACNC approved reporting groups will not be able to take part in these arrangements.

Other obligations

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

When to contact the ACNC or Consumer Protection

TaskACNCConsumer ProtectionAdditional information
Incorporate an associationNoYesA charity must be approved as an incorporated association before applying to the ACNC.
Register as a charityYesNoBefore a charity notifies the ACNC of a change to its rules, Consumer Protection must approve the change.
Change a charity’s rulesYesYes
Change a charity’s nameYesYesBefore a charity notifies the ACNC of a change to its name, Consumer Protection must approve the change.
Update a charity’s address or contact detailsYesYes
Update a charity’s Responsible Persons (committee members) 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 cancel it with Consumer Protection too.
Cooperatives and other legal structures

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 Consumer Protection.

To find out more, visit the Consumer Protection 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 WA may also be eligible to receive concessions on some state taxes, including payroll tax, land tax and stamp duty from the Office of State Revenue.

To find out more, visit the Office of State Revenue 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 WA on the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries website.

Other general obligations

There are a number of other laws that affect charities in WA covering areas such as employment, trading, occupational health and safety and anti-discrimination.

For example, charities are obliged to meet obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA).

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: