Steps to register

You’ve decided to start a corporation under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) and you’re ready to take the next step, but where do you begin? Here is some information to help you get started.

Step 1: Fill in the Application for registration form found on our forms page or online at

Step 2: Complete your proposed rule book

Under the CATSI Act corporations must have a rule book agreed to by the members, which says how a corporation operates.

The rule book includes set laws which cannot be changed (rules that apply to all corporations) as well as:

  • rules that must be completed (special to that corporation)
  • rules that can be replaced
  • laws that can be changed
  • rules that are good governance ideas recommended by ORIC.

ORIC has produced a range of rule book tools that groups can use to make their own rule book that complies with the CATSI Act and suits their needs.

Step 3: Hold a meeting of members

Hold a meeting of members to get their agreement to:

  • apply for registration
  • approve the proposed rule book
  • nominate the directors and
  • nominate the contact person or secretary.

You will need to provide 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 meeting of the members, the minutes of that meeting showing the chairperson's declaration that the resolution was passed at the meeting and signed by the person chairing the meeting. There is an example chairperson’s declaration for minutes included as Attachment A of the fact sheet below.
  • a resolution document — a document signed by 75 per cent of the members to show that each member has agreed to the resolution. There is an example resolution document included as Attachment B of the fact sheet below.

A fact sheet about resolutions—to adopt a new rule book and apply for registration—with two examples of suggested wording can be downloaded.

Step 4: Fill out any applications for exemption under the CATSI Act, if applicable

If you think your corporation may have difficulty complying with some set laws under CATSI, you can apply to the Registrar for exemption from them. See our exemption forms.

The Registrar will only give an exemption if satisfied the rule is inappropriate for your corporation or it imposes an unreasonable burden.

Step 5: Send your application form, resolution, rule book and exemption forms to ORIC

Below is a checklist of documents you will need to send to ORIC.

  • Application for registration form.
  • A copy of the proposed 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.

Fax: 02 6133 8080
Post: Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations
PO Box 29
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 we 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.

Read more information about the CATSI Act or call 1800 622 431.