Are you considering running a non-profit organisation? If so, you will need an accountant who is experienced with not-for-profit organisations. That’s because it is potentially a drawn out and complex process. Then there are the unique factors to consider when dealing with charitable, religious, or community groups.

A not-for-profit is designed to benefit specific people or groups. This means the profits don’t go to the owners.

Non-profit organisations and charities exist for the benefit of the community or group of people they are designed for, rather than to support the owners.
When the business isn’t there to make you rich, you’re running a not-for-profit business.

Setting Up Your Non-Profit

Setting up a non-profit organisation is a big task. Choose the right structure. Figure out how to manage it. Work out the marketing. Decide your short and long term strategies. It’s rarely a simple process. This is true whether it’s a small community group, a charity, a religious organisation, or a collective hobby.

The structure suitable for a non-profit may be an:

  • Unincorporated Association
  • Incorporated Association
  • Registered Australian Body
  • Company

Depending on which type of structure you go with there are different regulatory bodies. These bodies govern your organisation and draw up the rules you need to follow. The rules of your group or the constitution of your entity, must align with these requirements.

To setup your non profit organisation you need to select the right structure type for your purpose
Setting up your Not-for-Profit

GST For Not-For-Profits

Will your organisation be selling goods or services to raise money? Non-profit organisations are required to register for GST when their turnover hits $150,000. This means they have to charge GST on any taxable sales.

If your non-profit sells goods or services you may be required to register for GST
If your non-profit sells goods or services you may be required to register for GST

Registration as a Charity

Non-profit organisations are not automatically charities. A local sporting group, a church, or a neighbourhood community centre can all run as non-profits without being registered charities. A charity has a specific, legal definition.

That’s why a charity requires special registration. To be registered and operate as a charity an organisation needs to meet the strict rules of the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission.

Non-profit organisations who desire to register as a charity must adhere to specific rules. This includes meeting the criteria for who they support and how they support them.
Charities give support to specific classes of people in need

Deductible Gift Recipient: DGR

Registration as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) is different again. A non-profit and even a registered charity can operate without being a Deductible Gift Recipient. That’s because the rules regarding tax deductibility for donations are very specific. Some organisations qualify as DGRs, while others may have branches within the organisation that qualify.

Registration as a DGR is another step in a potentially complex process
It can be easier to attract donations if you’re a DGR.

Employees in Your Non-Profit Organisation

Somtimes volunteers aren’t enough to run a non-profit organisation. You may need someone working fulltime. It’s even possible to employ someone as a part-time employee and a part-time volunteer.

Just like anyone else hiring employees as a not-for-profit organisation means following the rules. Every employer is required to remit and report on employee activity. Some not-for-profits may be eligible for concessions of fringe benefits with salary packaging.

Employees hired by a non-profit organisation are covered by ordinary employment rules. There are some concessions for non-profits.
There are many reasons your organisation may need to hire staff.


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