This guidance is an overview of laws and regulations affecting charities in Western Australia. For more detailed information about the laws and regulations in Western 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 Protection. This page also has information about cooperatives 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 Western Australia (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 the Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
Annual reporting obligations
The ACNC and Consumer Protection have a streamlined reporting arrangement, which means that incorporated 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)
- the date of the annual general meeting (AGM)
- 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.
Charities that form part of an ACNC approved reporting group will not be able to take part in these arrangements.
Associations must still notify Consumer Protection of changes to the association’s name, details or rules.
When to contact the ACNC or Consumer Protection
|Task||ACNC||Consumer Protection||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, Consumer Protection must approve the change.|
|Change a charity’s name||Yes||Yes||Before a charity notifies the ACNC of a change to its name, Consumer Protection must approve the change.|
|Update a charity’s address or contact details||Yes||Yes|
|Update a charity’s Responsible People (committee members) 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 cancel it with Consumer Protection too.|
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:
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.
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.
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 Western Australia is regulated by two government agencies:
- the Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety is responsible for registering and regulating organisations conducting fundraising activities.
- the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries is responsible for regulating any fundraising conducted through authorised gaming such as raffles.
See our guidance about fundraising in Western Australia for more information.