What are the requirements of setting up a SMSF?

24 February 2012

Admin User

A super fund is effectively a trust and therefore a trust deed must be established.

The trust deed states the rules by which the super fund is governed and is usually prepared by a legal practitioner. Initial members of the fund will also need to be appointed as Trustees.  They are required to sign documents consenting to act as a trustee, and must also document that they understand their duties and responsibilities as a trustee.

To enable the SMSF to receive the advantageous concessional tax treatment, the fund must be registered with the ATO as a complying super fund. The trustees must complete an 'Application for ABN registration for superannuation entities' within 60 days of the fund being established. The same form can also be used to obtain an ABN, tax file number, and GST registration if required.

Once a SMSF has been established it will be necessary to open a bank account in the name of the fund. This is because money and other assets of the fund must be kept separate from assets belonging to the business or fund members.

Due to the initial costs of establishing a SMSF as well as the ongoing annual compliance costs, a fund balance in excess of $150,000 is generally recommended.  However, there may be circumstances where it is prudent to set up a fund with a lower fund balance than this.

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