The Step by Step Guide to Setting Up a Self-Managed Super Fund

Setting up a self-managed super fund (SMSF) can be a complex process, but it can also be a great way to take control of your retirement savings and invest in a wider range of assets. Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up an SMSF, along with some important things to consider along the way.

Step 1: Determine Eligibility

Before you begin the process of setting up an SMSF, it’s important to make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements. According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), to establish an SMSF, you must:

Be a trustee of the fund or a director of a corporate trustee
Have no more than four members in the fund
Not be an “employee” of another member of the fund
Have a separate Australian Business Number (ABN) and Tax File Number (TFN) for the fund
It’s also important to note that each member of the fund must be a trustee or a director of the corporate trustee. If you’re unsure whether you meet the eligibility requirements, it’s a good idea to seek professional advice.

Step 2: Choose a Trustee Structure

Once you’ve determined that you’re eligible to establish an SMSF, the next step is to choose a trustee structure. There are two options:

Individual trustees: Each member of the fund acts as a trustee, and all decisions are made jointly by the members.
Corporate trustee: The fund is controlled by a company that acts as the trustee, and the members are the directors of the company.
Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider which one is best for your situation. For example, a corporate trustee can provide more flexibility and continuity in the event of a member’s death or incapacity, but it also involves more administrative and compliance requirements.

Step 3: Register the Fund

Once you’ve chosen a trustee structure, the next step is to register the fund with the ATO. This involves applying for an ABN and TFN for the fund, and completing the necessary forms and documentation.

It’s important to note that the registration process can take several weeks, so it’s a good idea to start the process well in advance of when you plan to establish the fund.

Step 4: Develop a Trust Deed

A trust deed is the legal document that establishes the rules and governance of the SMSF. It sets out the rights and responsibilities of the trustees, the fund’s investment strategy, and the rules for winding up the fund.

It’s important to have a professionally drafted trust deed that complies with the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA) and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (SISR).

Step 5: Establish Bank Accounts

Once the fund is registered, you’ll need to establish separate bank accounts for the fund, including a cash account and a clearing account. The cash account is used for depositing contributions and paying expenses, while the clearing account is used for buying and selling assets.

It’s important to note that all transactions in the SMSF must be conducted in the name of the fund, and not in the name of the trustees or members.

Step 6: Invest in Assets

Once the fund is established and the bank accounts are set up, you’re ready to start investing in assets. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the investment strategy must be consistent with the fund’s objectives and must comply with the SISA and SISR.

To book a consultation or to speak with one of our representatives, please give us a call at 1300 736 453 or use the “Book Consultation” menu item on the top of our site. We would be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. Don’t hesitate to reach out, and let us help you take control of your SMSF

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 fact sheet may not be appropriate to your individual needs, therefore, you should seek personal financial advice before making any financial or investment decisions.

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Sandra - SMSF Advisor

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Why is SMSF Set up so affordable at SuperHelp?

SuperHelp has been servicing the SMSF market for over 15 years. We pride ourselves on being able to provide an affordable SMSF service without compromising on quality. One of these services is to provide new members with setting up their SMSF at an affordable fee when they use our award winning service.

Do I need to use a specific bank, broker or provider?

Unlike other SMSF administrators and accountants we do not restrict you to what bank, broker or service provider you use. We are independent and do not take any commissions from other parties so that our clients can invest their super where they please.

How long has SuperHelp been around for?

SuperHelp have been around since 2002 - so over 15 years! While new SMSF administrators have come and gone, we are still around!

Do you offer any other SMSF services?

Yes we do! You can see a full list of SMSF services on our services page.

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