Not for Profit, Nonprofit and Charities Law Australia

By: Corney & Lind  09-Dec-2011
Keywords: Legal Services, Charity, Asset Protection

We are one of a handful of Australian law firms that have a dedicated Not for Profit (Non profit) and Charity Law division advising non profit and charitable institutions around Australia and internationally.

One stop legal services shop for Not for Profits (Nonprofit) & Charities

Our team of lawyers and depth of resource allow us not just to focus on Not for Profit legal issues but the full range of general legal services that non profits need including:

  • Tax Law endorsements and issues for charities and non profits

  • Tax concession reviews and risk assessments

  • Collections Act registrations

  • Structuring & Constitutions

  • Property (including Charitable Trusts)

  • Employment and Workplace Relations (including Collective Agreements)

  • Discrimination issues

  • GST issues

  • FBT issues

  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution

  • ATO reviews and tax audits

Structuring & Strategic advice

We advise regularly on and prepare the documents for the establishment of various non profit bodies including:

  • Companies limited by guarantee under the Corporations Act 2001

  • Associations under various Association Incorporation Acts; and

  • Unincorporated Associations

We have conducted numerous legal structural reviews and long term strategic planning initiatives for National bodies, State based bodies and Local bodies.

Our Not for Profit client groups normally engage us as their general legal counsel and expect us to have a broad understanding of their activities and keep a watching brief on developments in the law as it effects them.



We have drafted from scratch, reviewed, re-worked and amended numerous constitutions, by-laws and rules for these bodies.

Letters Patent bodies

Letters Patent bodies are an historical form of association that has been preserved. That is bodies who are formed on this basis can generally continue on this basis. There are very few lawyers who understand how this form of association works together with the functioning, powers and officeholder responsibility associated with it.

Tax compliance for Not for Profits (ABN, GST, FBT, endorsement and audit issues)

We advise on:

  • applying for and maintaining the correct tax endorsements

  • complex issues as to “who is the tax payer” when trusts are involved

  • getting your “house in order” for a tax audit

  • entitlement to current tax concessions and endorsements

  • strategies to maintain and protect tax endorsements

Tax Endorsement - Asset Protection

Maintaining entitlement to Tax endorsements is a key asset of many non for profit bodies. We regularly conduct endorsement reviews and risk assessment projects for non profits.

DGRs, PBIs and Gift Funds

We have established and advised countless DGR and PBI bodies and DGR Funds within existing Charitable Institution bodies.

Charitable Trusts


We have established and amended many and varied Charitable Trusts.

Aboriginal and Tores Strait Islander Corporations

We act for a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations, advising across the areas of corporate governance, structure, indigenous land transfers (native title claims), negotiations with mining companies, negotiations and disputes with State and Commonwealth governments, entitlement to charitable endorsements and other related issues.



Our lawyers don’t just advise Boards, they have served on many and varied Boards and leadership groups.

Other jurisdictions

Our lawyers advise in this sector, not just in Queensland but across Australia and internationally. This allows us to have an informed perspective of likely regulatory change.

Charity law reform & a Charities Commission in Australia?

The coming years are likely to see some significant change in the regulatory framework for Not for Profit bodies in Australia. Not for profits need to have an eye on both the current and possible future shape of this framework in decisions that are taken now. We are actively participating in the Charity law reform debate.

Andrew Lind was invited to Canberra in June 2010 to present to the Senate Economics Committee on the impact of the introduction of a Public Benefits test as a Charitable Institution and Religious Institution endorsement requirement. 

Papers & publications

Our lawyers are invited to regularly present technical papers in this sector. Some of those papers are in the Legal Resources Section of our web site.

Keywords: Asset Protection, Australian Law Firms, Charitable Institution, Charity, Legal Services

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