Constitution for charities


The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has released a plain language constitution for charities that want to be companies limited by guarantee.

The new template has been designed to help small organisations with simple membership that are either:

  • A not-for-profit organisation that wants to incorporate as a company limited by guarantee and register as a charity with the ACNC.
  • An existing company limited by guarantee that that wishes to become a charity registered with the ACNC.
  • An existing company limited by guarantee that is a registered charity and wants to update its constitution.

The template constitution is supported by a detailed clause-by-clause guide, a quick checklist for completing the constitution and a table that sets out which sections in the Corporations Act 2001 may be relevant to clauses in the template constitution.

The ACNC has also conducted consultations with the Australian Taxation Office and Australian Securities and Investments Commission to ensure it meets the legal requirements of both the Corporations Act and the ACNC Act.

ACNC assistant commissioner general counsel, Murray Baird FAICD, said the new template constitution was the result of extensive consultation with the sector.

“This constitution and guidance has been developed in consultation with the ACNC’s advisory board, specialist professional and sector user groups and small charities focus groups,” Baird said.

The new template constitution and supporting materials can be found here.