The Not-for-Profit Journey

Whether you are establishing a new not-for-profit, ensuring compliance with complex regulations or responding to a corporate crisis, BAL Lawyers can partner with you.

Our Business and Corporate Lawyers have significant professional experience and an understanding of how not-for-profit organisations work to enable them to deliver commercial strategies and alternative options in structuring to ensure the charitable or business activities can be delivered effectively. We work with your taxation and accounting advisors to ensure your not-for-profit is established in the most practical, cost and tax effective manner for you.

We can assist in all aspects of establishment from advice on the options available, preparation of the establishment documents (Constitutions, Trust Deeds, Ancillary Fund Deeds), advising on governance and directors duties, engagement with your members, managing your funding obligations, all while ensuring that the charitable works can be delivered effectively and efficiently.

Establishing a not-for-profit

When establishing a not-for-profit, you must choose the form of enterprise carefully.  Your form of enterprise will impact your ability to conduct business, apply for charitable registration and deductible gift recipient endorsement.  Different structures come with different risks and processes for winding up your not-for-profit. Your structure will define the liability the directors and members face, the tax consequences or tax relief the not-for-profit is entitled to and will also define the rights and obligations between directors and members for years to come. When deciding what structure is right for you, you should also be considering the size of the business, your risk appetite, the purpose of the business, the requirements for capital and the anticipated lifetime of the business.

At BAL we work closely with accounting and taxation professionals to ensure the right structure is chosen for each not-for-profit, and for each stage of the business of a not-for-profit – remembering that the structure of the business can (and might need to) change as it grows.


Charitable trusts can be set up to support a variety of charitable purposes. Charitable trusts are different from discretionary trusts or unit trusts in that there are no specifically named beneficiaries, they are established to advance social or public welfare so no profits can be distributed to members, and due to their public nature they are closely monitored by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. Charitable trusts can, however, benefit from significant tax concessions available.

Charitable trusts can come in many forms including public and private ancillary funds, testamentary trusts, private charitable trusts, and gift funds. At BAL we will work with you to ensure your desired trust structure enables you to maximise potential tax concessions to help you deliver your charitable services.

Corporate Governance

Robust corporate governance practices are a crucial requirement for any not-for-profit, ensuring compliance with fundamental legal obligations and facilitating effective management and oversight of your operations.

Our Business & Corporate lawyers have extensive experience and broad expertise across the full range of corporate governance matters. We have advised businesses of all sizes, including the boards and executive management teams of many public and proprietary companies, not-for-profits and charities. We help organisations to meet their obligations under a range of legal and regulatory frameworks, as well as their core duties to their members.

Insolvency & restructuring

Our Business and Corporate lawyers work together with a variety of Insolvency Practitioners to ensure that our collective technical expertise and commercial insight are utilised to prevent risk and assist our not-for-profit clients to actively manage the risk of insolvency within their organisation. We can assist you in managing your business’s solvency including terms of trade, credit applications, personal guarantees and security documents, and advice on enforcement action against potentially insolvent creditors.

We have built solid working relationships with liquidators, administrators and receivers and work collaboratively with such advisers to ensure you receive well considered solutions. We can advise on your duties as a director and the options available if your organisation is at risk of insolvency.

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