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If I want a corporate trustee, does the company need to be registered before the trust is set up?

Yes, it sure does. Prior to registration a proposed company does not yet exist. You will need to register the company first BUT don’t let the notion of it becoming a trustee in future confuse you. The process to set up this company is as usual, nothing special is required. You do not need to stipulate in the application that it is intended to be a corporate trustee.

Once the company has been registered it can be included as a corporate trustee. If this is the company’s only role then it does not need an ABN in its own right, as it will only ever be acting on behalf of the trust. Therefore the trust’s ABN is sufficient for any business and investment activities.

This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice. You must seek professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances before acting.

Updated — Jul 7, 2017

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