This guidance is an overview of laws and regulations affecting charities in South Australia. For more detailed information about the laws and regulations in South Australia, please consult the relevant regulatory agencies.
This guide covers the reporting and other obligations of incorporated associations that are registered charities, and explains when incorporated associations need to contact the ACNC or Consumer and Business Services (CBS).
This page also has information about co-operatives and other legal structures, tax concessions, and other obligations that charities may have.
See our guidance about ongoing obligations to the ACNC for information about the requirements that all charities must meet to remain registered.
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
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.
Charities should provide their incorporated association number when submitting the Annual Information Statement.
Medium and large charities must ensure that the financial reports they provide to the ACNC meet all the ACNC reporting requirements.
Associations must notify CBS to the association’s name, details or rules.
When to contact the ACNC or CBS
|I want to:||ACNC||CBS||Additional information|
|Incorporate an association||No||Yes||A charity must be approved as an incorporated association before applying to the ACNC.|
|Register as a charity||Yes||No|
|Change a charity’s rules||Yes||Yes||Before a charity notifies the ACNC of a change to its rules, CBS must approve the change.|
|Change a charity’s name||Yes||Yes||Before a charity notifies the ACNC of a change to its name, CBS must approve the change.|
|Update a charity’s address or contact details||Yes||Yes|
|Update a charity’s Responsible People, including the secretary||Yes||Yes|
|Submit the Annual Information Statement and financial report||Yes||No|
|Revoke a charity registration||Yes||No||A charity must revoke its registration with the ACNC when it winds up.|
|Ending an association||No||Yes||If an association is no longer running, it must notify CBS.|
A co-operative is a type of organisation that is owned, controlled and used by its members. There are different types of co-operatives.
Charities that are co-operatives 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:
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.
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.
See our guidance about other regulators for information about state, territory and Commonwealth Government agencies that may affect registered charities.
Charities that fundraise
Fundraising in South Australia is regulated by Consumer and Business Services (CBS).
See our guidance about fundraising in South Australia for more information.