Registrable Australian Bodies

Some organisations, like associations, can only conduct business in their 'home' state or territory.

By becoming a registered Australian body, these organisations can trade throughout all states and territories within Australia.

How to become a registered Australian body

Step 1 - Ensure the name is available

Before applying to register as an Australian body, you need to check to see if the name is available

If you aren't ready to register, but want to make sure the name is available when you are, you can apply to reserve it.

If we approve your application, we will reserve the name for two months. If you wish to extend this period, you'll need to apply to reserve the name again.

Even if we reserve or register a name for you, a company with a similar name or a trademark may take action against you. It is your responsibility to be aware of any similar names or trademarks that may affect your name. Visit the IP Australia website to search for existing trademarks.

Step 2 - Lodge a Form 401

To apply, lodge a Form 401 Application for registration of a registrable Australian body. 

You will need to provide details about your current organisation. You must also include:

  • whether there are any existing charges on property and details of those charges
  • details of all directors/officers, including date and place of birth.

If the registered office does not belong to the body (e.g. it's your accountant's office), you must get their written permission to use the address.

Step 3 - Include supporting documents

When you lodge the Form 401, you must also include:

  1. A certified copy of the organisation's current certificate of incorporation/registration. The certificate must be certified by the authority that administers the organisation. For example, this would be Consumer Affairs for associations incorporated in Victoria. The copy should be certified no more than three months before it's lodged with us.
  2. A certified copy of the body’s constitution (e.g. Memorandum and Articles of Association). It needs to be current and include all resolutions that have affected the constitution. 

The document must be certified by:

  • whoever has lawful custody of the original document (e.g. the 'ASIC-equivalent')
  • a public notary, or
  • a director/officer of the organisation making a statement in writing

If the organisation does not have a constitution, you must provide a written statement from a director/office of the organisation. It should state that the body does not have, or does not need to have a constitution. 

The copy should be certified no more than three months before it's lodged with us.

For detailed requirements, refer to Section 601CB of the Corporations Act.

Step 4 - Lodge the form with the fee

The application form must be signed by a director or person that's authorised.

Refer to Form 401 - Application for registration as a registrable Australian body for the correct fee amount.

The completed application can be mailed to:

Australian Securities & Investments Commission
PO Box 4000
Gippsland Mail Centre VIC 3841

Once your application has been processed and approved, we'll send you a registration certificate.

Your obligations

Displaying your name

You must display the body's name outside every office and place of business that is open to the public.

Unless it's a bank or other authorised deposit-taking institution , it must also display:

  • its place of origin
  • at its registered office, the words ‘registered office’, and
  • notice of the limited liability of its members (only if the body's name does not end in 'Limited' or 'Ltd.').

Australian Registered Body Number

When registered, you'll receive a unique nine digit number known as the Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN).

Under the Corporations Act, the name and ARBN must appear on all the body's public documents. This includes negotiable instruments published or signed in the jurisdiction.

Unless the body is a bank or other deposit-taking institution, every document and instrument must also include:

  • its place of origin, and
  • notice of the limited liability of its members (only if the body's name does not end in 'Limited' or 'Ltd.').

Some abbreviations are allowed. These include:

  • for Australian - ‘Aust.’
  • for Registered - ‘Regd.’
  • for Number - ‘No.’
  • for Australian Registered Body Number - ‘ARBN’ or 'A.R.B.N.'

Keeping your details up to date

If your details change, you must let us know within a certain timeframe.

Below is a list of the details you must keep updated and the relevant timeframe:

If the body stops trading, you must let us know within seven days. If it is wound up or deregistered in its 'home' state, you must let us know within one month.

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Last updated: 19/10/2016 03:28