Incorporated associations have a legal structure set up under a state or territory law, that is usually not-for-profit. Generally these must have at minimum number of members, be managed by a committee of management that meets at least annually at an annual general meeting, have a set of rules and operate in the state or territory it is incorporated in. Many charities are incorporated associations. Incorporation is a voluntary, simple and inexpensive means of establishing a legal entity. It is an alternative to forming, for example, a company limited by a guarantee, or co-operative. It is particularly suitable for small, community-based organisations.

Charities that are incorporated associations may have obligations to state or territory government regulators, such as providing annual reports or keeping financial records.