How to setup an SMSF

It’s easy to set up your SMSF online

If you have made the decision to setup an SMSF, we will execute the setup process with the Tax Office. We will apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and a Tax File Number (TFN) to ensure that the SMSF is set up correctly with the Tax Office. We will then act as a Tax Agent and lodge the annual SMSF Tax Returns with the Tax Office.

Individual Trustees or a Corporate Trustee

An SMSF can have either a Corporate Trustee structure or a group of Individual Trustees acting as Trustees for the SMSF. Under super laws (with certain exceptions), all Members of the SMSF must be either Individual Trustees of the Fund or directors of the Corporate Trustee. As a rule, Superannuation Warehouse sets up SMSFs with Individual Trustees; this is the way that most Funds are set up with the ATO.

Financial advice

Superannuation Warehouse does not provide financial advice; neither does it charge a percentage commission over the assets you own in the SMSF. These are important factors to bear in mind when selecting a suitable SMSF provider. Moreover, we won’t limit you to any specific bank or any particular types of investment – this means that you will have the flexibility you need when your financial objectives change as you move from the accumulation stage to the pension stage.

Is an SMSF right for me?

The ATO has several publications that explain everything you need to know about setting up and running an SMSF (click here to view) – after you’ve read them, you can take the free test on our SMSF Trustee Education Page to check that you understand your responsibilities as an SMSF Trustee.

Ongoing administration for your SMSF

Once Superannuation Warehouse has established your SMSF and the Fund is listed as ‘Complying’ on Super Fund Lookup, you can commence the operation of the Fund.

According to the Australian Taxation Office there are four key steps to establishing an SMSF:

Establish the trust

The first thing you need to do is prepare a trust deed. The trust deed sets out such matters as the details of the Trustees, how they are appointed, their powers and the conditions for contributions and benefit payments. You must make sure the trust deed is dated and properly executed. If you are a client of Superannuation Warehouse and we establish your Fund, we will provide you with all the relevant establishment documents for the SMSF.

All SMSFs must have Trustees and, in turn, all Members of the Fund must be appointed as Trustees. Anybody aged over 18 with a Tax File Number can be a Trustee provided they have not been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty and that they are not undischarged bankrupt.

Elect to be a regulated fund and obtain a tax file number and an Australian business number

As a Trustee, you are legally responsible for the actions of the SMSF. These responsibilities include filing an annual Tax Return, lodging Member contribution statements and appointing an approved auditor to complete the annual audit. The next step is to elect to be regulated by the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act (SISA) in order to receive concessional tax treatment. The Tax Office generally take between 2-56 business days once the Fund has been applied for to regulate the SMSF.

Prepare an investment strategy

Preparing an investment strategy is the next step. This involves formulating a strategy that takes into account the risk, return, diversification, liquidity, cash flow, asset allocation and the ability to discharge existing and prospective liabilities. We provide all our clients with a sophisticated and detailed investment Strategy which can be edited to list the relevant assets held by your SMSF.

Open a bank account

The final step is to open a bank account in the name of the SMSF to keep the SMSF assets separate from your personal assets. As a Trustee you can roll over funds from other Retail/Industry Funds to your SMSF. Once the Bank Account has been opened you can also request for your employer to contribute directly to the SMSF. Be mindful of the contribution caps and how much you can transfer into the SMSF. We give further guidance on contributions here.

For more info about the process of setting up an SMSF, please see the ATO video below.

SMSF – Setting up

Follow this link to set up your SMSF online today.

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