When you are setting up an SMSF, there are 10 key steps to follow and important decisions to make to set your SMSF on the right course.
1. Consider your personal circumstances
You should consider your personal circumstances before deciding whether an SMSF is right for you. We can help you assess your situation and help you make a decision.
2. Work out how best to structure your fund
When you set up your fund, you can choose for the fund to have either individual trustees or a corporate trustee. The structure you choose will influence how you administer your fund, so it's important you choose a structure that meets your needs. For example, some things to consider include how many members your fund will have and if you plan to invest in property within your super.
3. Create your SMSF and trust deed
As your SMSF is a trust, you need to complete all the paperwork to set up the fund, including the trust deed.
A trust deed is a legal document which establishes a trust (in this case, the SMSF) and sets out the terms of the trust.
If you use a specialist SMSF service like us, it’s easy to set up your fund, simply provide us with the key details. We’ll take care of all the paperwork to help you set up your fund, including the legal requirements such as creating the fund’s trust deed and product disclosure statement. We’ll also help with the documents to appoint your fund’s trustees and members.
4. Register your SMSF with the ATO
Once your fund is set up and the corporate trustee or individual trustees have been appointed, you’ll need to register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
We can register your fund with the ATO on your behalf. We prepare a notice of election to become a regulated fund and register your fund for an Australian Business Number (ABN), a Tax File Number (TFN) and for Goods and Services Tax (GST).
5. Set up a fund bank account and rollover your super
Your super fund will need to have its own bank account to accept contributions or fund transactions and pension payments. We can also assist with transferring your existing super from other funds into your SMSF.
6. Prepare an investment strategy
Your fund must have an investment strategy, which is like a mini business plan for your SMSF, providing a guide for your investment decisions. Your strategy must be in writing and take into account things such as your risk profile, as well as your fund’s investment objectives and cash flow. If you would like help, AMP SMSF specialists can help you prepare an investment strategy that’s right for you.
7. Consider insurance
Under SMSF rules, you are required to consider the life insurance needs of the fund’s members as part of your SMSF’s investment strategy.
We can help you with life insurance, total and permanent disablement (TPD) and income protection solutions.
8. Start investing
This is where you begin to take control of your super and, guided by your investment strategy, decide how and where you will invest your super money. SMSFs generally have a mix of cash, term deposits, direct equities, managed funds and property. If you’d like advice in these or other areas, we can help you.
9. Manage your SMSF
SMSF compliance can be complex and having a quality support team to help manage your fund can be helpful. We can help with the day-to-day running of your fund, which enables you to focus on investing and tracking your super balance.
10. Keep informed
As a trustee (or a director of a corporate trustee), you have certain responsibilities and one of them is to stay on top of changes in superannuation and tax laws and regulations, as these changes may impact your trustee responsibilities. We can update you on key regulatory changes.