[Linux-aus] Incorporating an open source geospatial organisation

Del del at babel.com.au
Fri Jul 13 23:55:36 UTC 2007

Tim Bowden wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm after some practical advice.  There's a group of open source
> Geospatial people who are setting up a combined Australian & New Zealand
> chapter of OSGeo, the Open Source Geospatial Foundation
> (http://www.osgeo.org).  We are looking at our options for
> Incorporation, but that is a state matter. We will be operating in all
> state (we hope!) along with NZ.  Given LA had to address this issue way
> back when (at least for operating in all Aust states), is there any
> advice or traps we need to take into consideration?  Does it make a
> difference what state we incorporate in etc?  Is there any one state
> that makes it easier than others for a national/International non-profit
> org?

You should be incorporating as a company limited by guarantee if you
are going to operate in all states, not as an association in each
state.  It's far cheaper and much less paperwork.

This is what OSIA did.  Brendan Scott did most of the legwork involved,
through a firm called shelfcom, and I acted as company secretary for
the first few years.  Pretty much any accountant should be able to set
you up with a shelf company that will work for you.  Most other national
associations do the same.

If you are only incorporating in one state then you are potentially not
covering the legal liability of your members in respect of the organisations
possible debts in other states, and hence you have pretty much wasted
your time and money on the whole incorporation thing.

Babel Com Australia
ph: 02 9368 0728
fax: 02 9368 0758

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