The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is the independent national regulator of registered charities. Established in 2012, the objects of the ACNC include the following:

• To maintain, protect and enhance public trust and confidence in the sector through increased accountability and transparency;

• To support and sustain a robust, vibrant, independent and innovative not-for-profit sector; and

• To promote the reduction of unnecessary regulatory obligations on the sector.


The role of the ACNC broadly covers the following key areas:

• Registration of organisations as charities;

• Providing assistance to charities in understanding and meeting their obligations through information, guidance, advice and other support;

• Providing assistance to the general public to understand the work of the not-for profit sector;

• Maintaining a free and searchable public register of registered charities;

• Working with state and territory governments (as well as individual federal, state and territory government agencies) to develop a ‘report-once, use-often’ reporting framework for charities.

Before December 2012, the Not-for-profit sector had no dedicated regulator.

Charities registered with the ACNC have ongoing obligations to maintain registration, including to notify the ACNC of certain changes, to report annually and to comply with a set of governance standards. For some charities, obligations to the ACNC replace obligations to other government regulators.

The ACNC website includes a range of publications, factsheets, guides and other resources to assist the Not-for-profit charity sector. The regulator also produces a range of multimedia including videos and podcasts to support and explain the material included on its site.

ACNC Interpretation Statements help to guide charities and the public on how the ACNC understands the law that applies to charities in Australia. The website also includes links to relevant Media Releases, Newsletters, and the Commissioner’s column.

We encourage our Not-for-profit clients to visit the ACNC website and to make use of the wealth of information available to the sector free of charge.

Not-for-profit clients should also check that their listing on the ACNC Charity Register is current / accurate and their reporting obligations are up to date.