ACNC Duties: What duties do directors of charities have?

  • The regulatory landscape for charitable companies and their directors can be difficult to navigate.
  • ACNC duties are owed by the charity itself and not the individual director.
  • If a company is no longer a registered charity with the ACNC, it must comply with all ASIC requirements.

The duties of a director (ie responsible person or member of a governing body) of a charity come from two main sources of law: the common law and legislation. The duties at common law are, for the most part, reflected in legislation, although there are some subtle differences. Director's duties are found in many pieces of legislation, but for a director of a charity, the main sources are the Corporations Act 2001 and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission Act 2012 (ACNC Act).

While the duties under the ACNC Act are very similar to the duties under the Corporations Act, there are some telling differences which makes the regulatory landscape for charitable companies and their directors somewhat difficult to navigate.

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