The commentary contained in this section is general. It is not intended to be legal advice or applied uncritically to your specific circumstances. You should seek specific advice that relates to your particular facts and circumstances or the particular facts and circumstances relating to your claim group or PBC.
Steps to register a corporation with ORIC
Step 1: Identify your members.
Step 2: Complete your proposed rule book which says how a corporation operates. The rule book includes rules set by law under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) that apply to all corporations and can also include:
- replaceable rules: rules that can be replaced with other rules that better fit the corporation’s needs
- exemptible rules, rules that are set by law but a Registrar (ORIC) can exempt a PBC from an inflexible rule under special circumstances
- changeable rules: rules that are law but can be changed to better suit your corporations needs as long as they comply with the CATSI Act
- optional rules: rules that are recommended because they help provide good governance.
ORIC’s Rule Book Kit or Rule Book Condensed provide clear guidance on how to design your corporation’s constitution or rule book.
Step 3: Hold a meeting of members (the initial members do not need to be all of the potential native title holders) to get their agreement to:
- apply for PBC registration
- approve the proposed rule book
- nominate the directors
- nominate the contact person or secretary.
Collect evidence that at least 75 per cent of people who have consented in writing to becoming members of the corporation have agreed to the above. This is called the pre-incorporation requirement.
This evidence can be done in two ways:
- Minutes from the meeting — if the agreement was made at a members meeting, the minutes of that meeting must show the chairperson's declaration that the resolution was passed at the meeting and be signed by the chairperson.
- A resolution document — a document signed by 75 per cent of the members to show that each member has agreed to the resolution.
Step 4: Fill out any applications for exemption under the CATSI Act, if applicable
If you think your PBC may have difficulty complying with some set rules under the CATSI Act, you can apply to the Registrar for exemption from these rules.
The Registrar will only give an exemption if they are satisfied the rule is inappropriate for your PBC or it imposes an unreasonable burden.
Step 5: Fill in the Application for registration found on the ORIC forms page or online.
Step 6: Send your application form together with all other necessary documentation
Below is a checklist of documents you will need to send to ORIC:
- a registration form.
- a copy of the proposed PBC rule book.
- a resolution of members agreeing to apply for registration. This can be either:
- a signed resolution from your group that at least 75 per cent of the members applying for registration have agreed to do so; or
- if the decision to apply for registration was made at a meeting where the original members passed the required resolutions, the minutes of that meeting;
- if applicable, any applications for exemption under the CATSI Act.
You can return your form and attachments either by email, fax or post. To email documents, you will need to scan them first.
02 6133 8080
Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations PO Box 2029 Woden ACT 2606
What happens when you return your application?
Your application will be checked to make sure it is filled in properly and that the requirements of the CATSI Act are met. If it is not complete ORIC will write to the applicant and the additional information will need to be provided before the application can be registered.
ORIC will then:
- send you a certificate of registration;
- send you a copy of the approved rule book; and
- put the details of your corporation on the Public Register of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations.
Written by Tim Wishart, Principal Legal Officer Queensland South Native Title Services Ltd (updated 12.10.2020).
- Steps to register, ORIC
- Application for registration (general), ORIC
- Rule book, ORIC
- The Rule Book Condensed, ORIC, 2018
- The Rule Book Info-kit , ORIC, 2011
- Corporate specific training (e.g. design your rule book), ORIC
- PBC constitutions: designing rule books, PBC website
- Meetings, PBC website
- Policy statement on exemptions, ORIC, 2013