We're being asked for an ACN (Australian Company Number) for our strata company.  Where do we find it?


Short Answer: ASIC regulations don't apply to strata companies.


The History and Reasons:

Prior to 2000, the individual States and Territories of Australia had their own corporate lawmaking powers, resulting in complication and different treatments across the country.  The logical way forward was a national approach however in a 1990 High Court decision, it was confirmed that the Commonwealth did not have the power to make laws for companies’ formation, only for those which had already commenced trading. 

Thankfully, just over a decade later all States and Territories largely agreed on a consistent set of laws and the Corporations Act 2001 was born.  The Corporations Act has set a uniform approach to corporate law in Australia for most companies since receiving Royal Assent, but there are some exceptions... strata companies are one of them. 

The various State Strata Acts included much more than simply the formation of strata companies.  So, rather than doubling the problem by trying to consolidate all of the Strata Acts at the same time as the company formation acts, the creating of strata companies was left in the hands of the existing legislation in each State and Territory.

The Corporations Act 2001 is Federal legislation that gives life to various, but not all, company types (eg: Ltd, Pty Ltd etc).  It also created the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) which is responsible for the adminstration of such companies. 

Strata companies however are created under state legislation (eg: the Strata Titles Act WA 1985 (State legislation) and, therefore, do not have any ASIC obligations per se.  The entity structure of a strata company is a 'company' but under the old 1936 Tax Act definitions .... in short, the parameters of ASIC and The Corporations Act 2001 don't apply unless there is coincidental overlap. 


Quick Takes:

  • ASIC exists to administer the Corporations Act 2001 - a Federal piece of legislation.  Strata Companies are created under State Legislation.  Therefore, ASIC regulations do not apply to strata companies.
  • Australian Company Numbers (ACNs) are introduced as part of company formation by ASIC / The Corporations Act 2001. Because Strata Companies aren't created in this way, they do not have ACNs and cannot obtain them.
  • After they are created, the Commonwealth does have power to legislate for all companies in Australia.  Therefore, Acts such as the Income Tax Assessment Acts and the GST Act do apply to Strata Companies.



For more information, please contact the Ascend office via your strata manager.


- AUSTLII: Corporations Act 2001



The above content is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as professional advice. Ascend encourages readers to seek advice from suitably qualified professionals in relation to their specific circumstances and not to rely solely on the information provided above.  Please contact our office for more information.

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