How to Set Up an SMSF

It is important you obtain professional advice before your SMSF set up to ensure it is set up properly so that it’s eligible for tax concessions and easier to manage once it’s up and running. If your SMSF is not set up properly, it may cause significant issues in the future.

SMSF Set Up Checklist

Step 1 Decide how many members

SMSFs can have up to four members. Each member must also be a trustee, or if a corporate trustee is appointed, each member must be a director of the corporate trustee.

Step 2 Choose a trustee structure

A SMSF is a type of trust, set up and maintained for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits to its members. You have two choices for the trustee structure:

  1. Individual trustees
  2. Corporate trustee

If you choose a corporate trustee, you will need a company which is registered with ASIC. You and any other members will be the company’s directors.

If you choose the individual trustee path, you will need at least two people to be trustees of the fund.

As a general rule, all members need to be over the age of 18 years to be a trustee, and not under a legal disability or be a disqualified person.

Step 3 Obtain a Trust Deed

The trust deed sets out the rules of your SMSF. Contact SuperHelp to order SMSF Set Up Kit which includes a trust deed that is tailored to your requirements.

Step 4 Sign a trustee declaration

The law requires each trustee to sign a declaration to show they understand their responsibilities. This must be done within 21 days of becoming a SMSF trustee or a director of a SMSF corporate trustee. This form will be included in SuperHelps’s SMSF Set Up Kit.

Step 5 Elect for the SMSF to be ‘regulated’

You must elect for the SMSF to be ‘regulated’ within 60 days of set-up. This step involves getting:

  • A Tax File Number(TFN) for your SMSF;
  • An Australian Business Number; and
  • If required, registered for GST (this is optional)

SuperHelp’s SMSF Set Up kit includes this service.

Step 6 Open a bank account

You must open a bank account in your SMSF’s name to accept contributions, rollovers of super benefits and investment earnings, and also pay the fund’s expenses. The SMSF’s assets must be kept separate from your personal assets.

Step 7

Before you start making investments, you need to decide an investment strategy that takes the needs of all members into account. You will want to consider the fund’s investment objectives, how much risk you are willing to take, how much income you need, the type of assets you would like to invest in, diversification and how quickly you can sell assets (liquidity). You also need to consider if members of your SMSF need insurance. Write down the strategy.

Once you have agreed the fund’s investment strategy, you then need to implement it.

If you have any questions on SMSF Set Up, please contact SuperHelp on 1300 736 453.

Disclaimer: This information should not be considered personal financial advice as it is intended to provide general advice only. This factsheet has been prepared by Superhelp Australia Pty Ltd without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situations or needs.

The information contained in the factsheet may not be appropriate to your individual needs therefore you should seek personal financial advice before making any financial or investment decisions.