Cover image for Corporate Affairs Office
Corporate Affairs Office
Agency Number:
Start Date:
26 Mar 1979
End Date:
31 Dec 1990
Responsible for registration and regulation of companies, business names and associations and administration of corporate law in Tasmania. 

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.)

On 1 July 1982 responsibility for chattel mortgages and some Private Acts of Parliament was transferred from the Registrar of the Supreme Court to the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs (JPP 81 of 1983 pp.13 & 14). This probably marks the formal separation of the positions of Registrar and Sheriff from that of Commissioner for Corporate Affairs.

The Corporate Affairs Office was not formally severed from the Supreme Court until 15 March 1983 when it became a division of the newly created Law Department. The National Companies and Securities Commission was created to give effect to an agreement dated 22 December 1978 between the Commonwealth and the States to establish uniform corporate legislation throughout Australia. (This was achieved by passage of Commonwealth legislation brought into effect in each State by "application" acts.) The Acts came into force in Tasmania on 1 July 1981 and 1 July 1982. The Commission was an umbrella body with a national headquarters in Melbourne and operational powers delegated to the State Commissioners for Corporate Affairs. There is a brief description of the legal framework in JPP 81 of 1983.

Responsibility for corporate law was transferred to the Australian Securities Commission on 1 Jan 1991. The Office was then renamed Business Affairs to reflect its narrower functions.
Legislation Administered:
Associations Incorporation Act 1964;;Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Act 1970;;Bank of Adelaide (Merger) Act 1980;;Baptist Union Incorporation Act 1902 [until 1990];;Bills of Sale Act 1900;;Boy Scouts Association Act 1950;;Building Societies Acts 1876, 1887, 1895 and 1958 [repealed by 1998];;Business Names Act 1962;;Casino Company Control Act 1973 [until 1991];;Commercial Bank of Australia Limited (Merger) Act 1982;;Commercial Banking Company of Sydney Limited (Merger) Act 1982;;Commissioner for Corporate Affairs Act 1980;;Companies (Acquisition of Shares) (Application of Laws) Act 1981;;Companies (Acquisition of Shares) (Tasmania) Code;;Companies and Securities (Interpretation and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Application of Laws) Act 1981;;Companies and Securities (Interpretation and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Tasmania) Code;;Companies and Securities Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 1982;;Companies (Application of Laws) Act 1982;;Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board Act 1982;;Co-operative Industrial Societies Act 1928;;Friendly Societies Act 1888 [until 1998];;Futures Industry (Tasmania) Code;;Girl Guides Association Act 1957;;Hobart Gas Company Act 1977;;Hobart Stock Exchange (Repeal) Act 1981;;Hobart Town Gas Company's Acts 1854 and 1857;;Launceston Gas Company Act 1982;;Limited Partnerships Act 1908;;National Companies and Securities Commission (State Provisions) Act 1981;;Partnership Act 1891;;Printers and Newspapers Act 1911;;Savings Bank Acts 1848 and 1917 [repealed 1985];;Securities Industry (Application of Laws) Act 1981;;Securities Industry (Tasmania) Code;;Stock, Wool and Crop Mortgages Act 1930;;Tasmanian Pensioners Union (Articles of Association) Act 1986;;Trades Unions Act 1889;;Trustee Companies Act 1953;;Trustee Companies (Amalgamation) Act 1978;;War Terms Act 1921 [repealed 1987]
Legislation Creating:
Administrative action.
Legislation Abolishing Agency:
Administrative action to give effect to the (Commonwealth) Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 1989.
Controlling Agencies:
Law Department (TA373)15 Mar 198317 Jul 1989

Department of Justice (1) (TA921)17 Jul 198918 Sep 1998
Previous Agencies:
Companies Office (TA41)01 Jan 187026 Mar 1979
Companies Auditors Board (TA232)01 Jan 192031 Dec 1982