New Corporate Trustee: Registering The Company First?

You want to set up a corporate trustee, but you face some issues. You really don’t know exactly how to create it and the steps you would take. Do you need to register your company first? Who and what needs an ABN or TFN in this relationship and if so, how would I get them?

Quite overwhelming. Fortunately for you, we’ve made the hurdles required to create a corporate trust quite smaller. LawPath can assist with setting up your discretionary trust, and for comprehensive and personalised guidance on how to set up a business trust, take your pick from LawPath’s expert business lawyers.

Registering your company

The simplest way to set up a corporate trustee is by registering the company first.

At this point, you’ve made a note of your assets, and have decided on your best directors for the trust. You’ve decided that you’re going to create a superfund and want to wrap your head around the terminology.

Trust – the superfund.

Trustee – the company running the superfund.

However, registration is important. A company is only a legal entity after being first registered and there cannot therefore be a corporate trustee otherwise. The registration process is the same as there are no additional steps required to register your company as a corporate trustee.

Luckily, you’ve now registered your company and are nearly there to get your trust up and running.

Need specialised advice regarding your company?

Contact a Lawpath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about company registration, customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

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Does your company need an ABN and TFN?

Even after becoming a company, there’s still so much to consider. Does your trust need an Australian Business Number (ABN) and Tax File Number (TFN)? How about the corporate trustee itself? It can be quite confusing. Fortunately, the answers largely depend on the use of your corporate trustee.

Acting solely as trustee

If your company is solely a corporate trustee for your superfund, there is no requirement for an ABN or a TFN as it does not lodge tax returns nor does it run a business.

Other uses

If your corporate trustee will engage in other activities, such as investments and trade, you will need an ABN and TFN to manage those logistics.

Does the trust need an ABN or TFN?

The long story short is – yes for both. The trust needs an ABN for any business or investment activities it conducts. A trust should also have a TFN to lodge income tax returns. With LawPath’s company registration, you have the ability to register your Australian Company Number (ACN), as well as both your ABN and TFN.


Finally, relief. You’re untouchable, officially able to start a company that can be a corporate trustee. Remember to read up on the advantages and disadvantages of corporate trustees. If you want more thorough legal guidance, you should consult with an expert business lawyer.

Still unsure or lacking confidence? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 750+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

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