• Register your fund

    Your self-managed super fund (SMSF) needs to be registered with us. When registering, you can elect for your fund to be regulated, get a TFN and ABN, and register for GST if necessary.

    To establish your fund, assets must be set aside for the benefit of members.

    If a rollover, transfer or contribution is expected in the near future, a nominal amount (for example, $10) can be held with the trust deed. This amount is regarded as a contribution and must be allocated to a member.

    If a member can't contribute to the SMSF (for example, they are over 65 or don't meet the work test), an administrative discretion will be applied to allow a nominal contribution for the member. The amount must be allocated to the member, solely for the purpose of registering the SMSF.

    Once your fund is established and all trustees have signed a trustee declaration, you have 60 days to register in the tax and super systems.

    You do this by applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN) at the Australian Business Register.

    Apply for an ABN

    When completing the ABN application you should also:

    • ask for a tax file number (TFN) for your fund
    • elect for your fund to be an ATO-regulated SMSF. If you don't, your fund will not receive tax concessions and the members’ employers can't claim deductions for contributions.

    When your fund can start receiving rollovers and contributions

    Your fund’s details will be included in ABN lookupExternal Link and Super Fund LookupExternal Link. Other super funds will not transfer benefits to your fund until its details appear in Super Fund Lookup, which may take up to seven days.

    Initially, your fund's status will be shown as 'Registered – status not determined'. An SMSF with this status is treated as complying and is eligible to receive rollovers and contributions.

    Registering for GST

    Most SMSFs don't have to register for GST because SMSFs mainly make input-taxed sales, and these don't count towards GST turnover.

    SMSFs with an annual GST turnover of more than $75,000 must register for GST. Annual GST turnover doesn't include:

    • contributions
    • interest and dividends
    • residential rent or income generated outside Australia.

    However, it does include gross income from the lease of equipment or commercial property.

    Next step:

    See also:

    Last modified: 25 Jul 2016QC 23317