It details for your members and others the name, objects, methods of
management and other conditions under which your association, club or
group operates, and generally the reasons for its existence.
- Explains to members and non-members what your organisation is about
- Provides guidelines for the daily running of your organisation
- Helps to sort out internal problems
- Is a legal necessity if your organisation wishes to become incorporated
- Can help in seeking resources from other organisations, such as a government agency
- Allows your organisation to apply for a liquor licence. If your
organisation intends to apply for a liquor licence under section 49 of
the WA Liquor Licensing Act 1988, it will generally need to be incorporated. One of the pre-requisites for incorporation is a constitution complying with the Associations Incorporations Act 2015.
Developing a constitution
The Department of Commerce has produced a set of model rules (also known as a draft constitution) as a guide to assist organisations comply with their obligations under the Associations Incorporations Act 2015. An organisation may choose to create its own rules or follow the model rules.
What level of detail should be include?
A constitution can be extremely simple, containing only the basic
outline to explain who you are, what you are set up for and important
management matters. Many details relating to minor management matters
are best included within by-laws, regulations or policies thus keeping
your constitution flexible and easy to operate within.
If you would like to receive advice specific to your sport or activity, contact your state sporting association or national governing organisation.
What to avoid
A constitution is made up of two parts:
- The rules which include the basic principles of the group and can be changed only by a general meeting.
- The regulations or by-laws which can be changed by the committee.
You can place almost anything within a constitution. However many
aspects of your organisation’s operation are more easily handled outside
the formality of the rules. For instance you wouldn’t include
membership charges or club colours in the constitution. A clause in the
rules empowering the committee to make, alter or delete regulations or
by-laws should appear in the constitution.
Should our organisation become incorporated?
Sporting groups can incorporate under the Associations Incorporations Act 2015. The Act provides a cheap, simple way of establishing a legal entity that has the capacity to function in its own right.
The Department recommends eligible sport and recreation groups to become incorporated under the Associations Incorporations Act 2015 due to the following:
- The organisation acquires the powers of a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal.
- The organisation may sue or be sued.
- The organisation may enter into contracts and acquire, hold and dispose of property.
- Members of officers of the organisation are generally not liable
to contribute towards the payment of debts or liabilities of the
For further information on constitutions and incorporation visit the Department of Commerce website.