Cover image for Companies Office
Companies Office
Agency Number:
Start Date:
01 Jan 1870
End Date:
26 Mar 1979
Responsible for the registration and regulation of companies, firms (business names), friendly societies, some trade unions and various bodies established under private Acts of Parliament.

During the nineteenth century it was apparently the practice for persons to lodge documents, particularly of a commercial nature, at the Supreme Court Registry. This was both to create an official record and to give public notice to the subject matter of the documents. There was no statutory duty to do so. This was not only the foundation for much Tasmanian corporate legislation but also explains the presence of documents predating the various Acts found in the records of the Supreme Court.

Formal registration began with the Act to encourage the Establishment of Banks for Savings (in reality not-for-profit savings associations) in 1849. The first general Companies Act, in 1869, came into force on 1 January 1870. Separate Acts followed for Life Assurance Companies in 1874, Mining Companies in 1884 and Foreigh Companies in 1895. The 1869 and 1895 Acts were replaced by the Companies Act 1920. That Act was replaced by the Companies Act 1959 which was in turn replaced by the Companies Act 1962.

Registration of Companies was assigned in the various Acts to a Registrar of Companies with the provision that the function would be performed in the interim by the Registrar of the Supreme Court. The registration of various forms of mortgage was also assigned to the Registrar. When the Companies Registry was separated from the Supreme Court Registry it took these functions with it.

Administratively the separation seems to have occurred in 1967 with the establishment of the Companies Section within the Supreme Court and Sheriff's Department. It comprised only inspectors and clerical staff so clearly the Registrar still held both posts. The Companies Section (sometimes referred to as the Companies Registry) was renamed the Corporate Affairs Office in 1979. (A brief paragraph on page 20 of the Mercury for 4 April 1979 reports a ministerial statement of the previous day that the name had changed to reflect the nature and functions of the Office and to conform to mainland practice. The change may have occurred as early as 26 March.)

Legislation Administered:
Associations Incorporation Act 1964;;Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Act 1970;;Baptist Union Incorporation Act 1902;;Bills of Sale Act 1900;;Boy Scouts Association Act 1950;;Building Societies Acts 1876, 1887, 1895 and 1958;;Business Names Act 1962;;Casino Company Control Act 1973;;Co-operative Industrial Societies Act 1928;;Friendly Societies Act 1888;;Girl Guides Association Act 1957;;Hobart Gas Company Act 1977;;Hobart Town Gas Company's Acts 1854 and 1857;;Launceston Gas Company Acts 1858, 1859 and 1885;;Limited Partnerships Act 1908;;Partnership Act 1891;;Printers and Newspapers Act 1911;;Savings Bank Acts 1848 and 1917;;Stock, Wool and Crop Mortgages Act 1930;;Trades Unions Act 1889;;Trustee Companies Act 1953;;Trustee Companies (Amalgamation) Act 1978;;War Terms Act 1921
Legislation Creating:
Companies Act 1869 (33 Vic.No.22) provided for a Registrar of Companies who was for the time being to be the Registrar of the Supreme Court.
Legislation Abolishing Agency:
Administrative action.
Functions Performed:
Business management
Controlling Agencies:
Supreme Court (Registrar's Office) (TA42)01 Jan 182431 Dec 1924

Supreme Court and Sheriff's Office (TA40)01 Jan 192417 Jul 1989
Subsequent Agencies:
Corporate Affairs Office (TA729)26 Mar 197931 Dec 1990
Series Created By Agency:
SC318 Documents Deposited with the Court in Accordance with Various Company Acts.15 Mar 183031 Dec 1900

SC359 Copies of Indentures Drawn Up As Deeds to Property Sold under Order of the Supreme Court As the Result of a Bill of Sale.12 Apr 183303 Jun 1919

SC321 Co-Partnership Returns.01 Dec 184131 Dec 1896

SC320 Copies of Returns of Co-Partnership entered Into.13 Dec 184131 Jan 1882

SC314 Miscellaneous Correspondence relating to the Registration of Companies07 Aug 185012 Dec 1871

SC337 Register of Returns Lodged for Companies under the Companies Acts 1859 and 186901 Dec 185930 Sep 1920

SC338 Documents concerning the Registration of Friendly Societies under the Friendly Societies Act 1888.01 Jan 186031 Dec 1950

SC358 Bills of Sale and associated Papers.26 Oct 186029 Mar 1896

SC323 Returns of Companies registered under the Companies Act 1869.19 Dec 186104 Jun 1980

SC361 Alphabetical Registers of Bills of Sale under the Bills of Sale Registration Acts 1867 and 1900.20 Jun 186731 Dec 1993

AF9 Alphabetical Registers of Companies01 Jan 186931 Dec 1964

SC536 Index to Registers (No. 1 - 10) of Mining Companies.01 Jan 186931 Dec 1979

AC47 Registers of Defunct Companies01 Jan 186931 Dec 1966

SC327 Returns of Companies registered under the Foreign Companies Act 1895 and Amendments.01 Jan 186931 Dec 1979

SC346 Index to Copies of Documents Lodged01 Jan 187031 Dec 1897

SC345 Copies of Documents Lodged13 Jan 187131 Dec 1897

SC326 Returns Filed by Companies under the Life Assurance Companies Act 1874.01 Jan 187431 Dec 1944

SC339 Register of Life Assurance Companies02 Jan 187507 Mar 1944

SC340 Applications, Draft Rules and associated Papers Submitted to the Registrar of Building Societies in Accordance with the Building Societies Act 1876.01 Jun 187631 Dec 1951

SC509 Register of Documents relating to the Liquidation of Companies under the Mining Companies Act 1884.01 Jan 188531 Dec 1910

AF17 Trade Union Files registered under the Trade Unions Act 188916 Mar 189114 Jul 1989

SC400 Records of Companies (in Liquidation) Deposited in the Supreme Court under Section 242 of the Companies Act 1959.01 Jan 189431 Dec 1988

SC329 Returns Made under the Hobart Gas Company Act 1854.01 Jan 189730 Apr 1959

SC330 Returns Made under the Launceston Gas Company Act 1858.01 Jan 189731 Aug 1959

SC328 Register of Documents Lodged by Foreign Companies14 Mar 189717 Aug 1922

SC347 Documents concerning the Liquidation of Companies under the Mining Companies Act 1884.01 Apr 189831 Dec 1960

SC341 Documents concerning the Registration of Firms under the Firms Act 1899.01 Jan 190031 Dec 1963

SC343 Indexes to Register of Applications under the Registration of Firms Act 1899.01 Jul 190031 Aug 1941

SC342 Register of Applications under the Registration of Firms Act 1899.01 Jul 190031 Aug 1941

SC344 Applications for Registration under the Limited Partnerships Act 1908.01 Jul 191030 Sep 1920

SC335 Documents of Incorporation and Returns of Companies As Required by the Co-Operative Industrial Societies Act.22 Dec 191014 Oct 1981

SC331 Company Files01 Jan 192131 Dec 1990

AF18 Register of Company Charges08 Mar 192121 Dec 1990

AC46 Register of Foreign Companies01 Jan 192231 Dec 1964

SC348 Alphabetical Index of Firms Struck Off the Register.01 Jan 192331 Dec 1944

SC334 Documents of Companies Not registered under the Companies Act 1920.04 Aug 192401 Jan 1950

SC355 Alphabetical Register of Stock Mortgages under the Stock Mortgages Act 1925.13 Mar 192631 Dec 1930

SC315 Correspondence relating to the Filing of Returns under the Friendly Societies Act 1888.01 Jan 192831 Dec 1934

AC48 Register of Co-Operative Industrial Societies01 Jan 192831 Dec 1966

SC354 Alphabetical Registers of Mortgages under the State Advances Act 1907 and 193501 Jan 192931 Jul 1984

SC349 Card Register of Documents Filed by Companies under Various Acts.01 Jan 192931 Dec 1936

SC356 Alphabetical Register of Stock Mortgages under the Stock, Wool and Crop Mortgages Act 1930.01 Jan 193131 Jan 1972

SC350 Cancelled Pages from a Loose-Leaf Register of Firms.01 Jan 194031 Dec 1947

AC50 Index to registered Companies01 Jan 194031 Dec 1940

AC52 Register of Foreign Companies01 Jan 194031 Dec 1949

SC317 Correspondence relating to the Filing of Annual Returns As Required by the Companies Act 1920.01 Apr 194031 Dec 1952

SC351 Index Cards to Firms Whose Registration has Expired, Been Cancelled, or Renewed.01 Jan 194231 Dec 1964

SC336 Returns and associated Papers concerning Changes in the Constitution of Firms.01 Jan 194731 Dec 1961

SC352 Statistical Returns of Companies registered in Tasmania under Various Acts.01 Jan 194931 Dec 1953

AC45 Company Registers01 Jan 195019 Dec 1990

SC316 Correspondence relating to the Registration of Firms under the Registration of Firms Act 1899.01 Jan 195131 Dec 1952

AC54 Register of Company Notices Gazetted As Part of the Process of Companies Being Struck Off the Registers01 Jan 195531 Dec 1987

SC531 Documents of Societies registered under the Building Societies Act 1876.01 Jan 195831 Dec 1970

AC49 Register of Building Societies01 Jan 195831 Dec 1965

SC528 Annual Lists of Shareholders of Various Companies.01 Jan 196031 Dec 1969

SC532 Mortgages under the Stock, Wool and Crop Mortgages Act 1930.01 Jan 196031 Dec 1965

SC529 Foreign Company Documents.01 Jan 196131 Dec 1969

AC53 List of Companies Struck Off the Register29 Aug 196108 Apr 1981

SC537 Register of Businesses under the Business Names Act 1962.01 Jan 196203 Sep 1993

SC534 Index Cards to Business Names registered under the 1962 Act01 Jan 196331 Dec 1967

AE382 Index to Defunct Companies, Business Names, Trade Unions, Etc.01 Jan 196631 Dec 1990

SC535 Alphabetical Register of Caveats entered at the Companies Office.01 Jan 196731 Dec 1970

AC51 Minutes of Meetings, Papers and Agenda in Relation to the Ministerial Council for Companies and Securities01 Sep 197606 Feb 1991

AF16 Correspondence about the Formation of the Australian Securities Commission and the Transfer of State Functions to the Commonwealth01 Jan 197931 Jan 1991