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Steps to Setting Up an SMSF

Setting up a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) can be a complex and time-consuming process, and it’s essential to ensure that you get everything right. To make the process easier and less stressful, consider appointing professionals to help you. Here are some key steps to setting up an SMSF that you should keep in mind:

  1. Make Sure Your SMSF will be  an Australian Super Fund: Before setting up your SMSF, it’s important to check that your SMSF meets the definition of an Australian super fund. It must be created in Australia, and have its central management and control in Australia, and at least half of its assets must be held by Australian tax residents.
  2. Choose Individual Trustees or a Corporate Trustee: The next step is to decide whether to choose individual trustees or a corporate trustee. While individual trustees may be less expensive, they also require at least two individual trustees and more paperwork, and each trustee must be appointed individually. A corporate trustee, on the other hand, can simplify the process and provide more asset protection. For more information about the difference between individual trustees and a corporate trustee, please read this article: SMSF Corporate Trustee or Individual Trustee? 
  3. Appoint Your Trustees or Directors: Once you have decided on the type of trustee, it’s time to appoint and include them in the setup process. Each trustee must be over 18, an Australian resident, and not be disqualified from being a trustee. If the trustee is an undischarged bankrupt or has ever been convicted for dishonest conduct, they should apply for a waiver from the ATO. If you choose a corporate trustee, you’ll need to appoint directors instead. We will help you set up the corporate trustee and provide you the company details. To set up your SMSF, you can submit your setup information using our online setup form.
  4. Create the Trust , Trust Deed and other setup documents: Once we receive you online setup form, we will help you create the SMSF and provide you a copy of the trust deed, member application form, consent to act as trustees, investment strategy and ATO Trustee Declaration Form. The SMSF trust deed is the legal document that sets out the rules for the SMSF, which will  cover the appointment and removal of trustees, the operation of the fund, the investment strategy, and how the fund’s assets will be distributed upon the commencement of pension accounts or the death of a member etc.
  5. Register Your Fund and apply for an ABN & TFN: We will register your SMSF with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and apply for TFN & ABN for your SMSF. This registration will allow the ATO to recognize your SMSF as a complying super fund, which is entitled to tax concessions.
  6. Set Up a Bank Account: You’ll need to open a separate bank account for the SMSF to keep its assets and investments separate from personal accounts. This will help ensure that the SMSF is compliant with regulations and that its financial records are accurate. We can help you to open a bank account if you like. Please refer to this link for more information: Opening Bank Accounts
  7. Get an Electronic Service Address (ESA): We will apply for an electronic service address (ESA) for your SMSF. This EAS will allow you to transfer benefit between superannuation funds, receive employer contributions and receive electronic communications from the ATO etc. For more information about ESA, please refer to this article: Electronic Service Address 
  8. Steps after the setup: Please return all the signed setup documents, including the trust deed, etc., to us. After that, you can follow the steps in this article: ‘Steps After the Setup.’

Setting up an SMSF can be a complex and time-consuming process, but with iCare Super’s help, it can be simplified and streamlined, allowing you to focus on your financial goals.


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