How to setup an SMSF

It’s easy to set up your SMSF online

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

Individual trustees or a Corporate Trustee

An SMSF can have either a Corporate Trustee or a group of Individual Trustees. 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, you can start managing 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.

All SMSFs must have trustees and, in turn, all members of the fund must be appointed 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 an 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.

Prepare an investment strategy

Preparing an investment strategy is the next step. This involves formulating a strategy that takes into account risk, return, diversification, liquidity, cash flow, asset allocation and the ability to discharge existing and prospective liabilities.

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 super funds to your SMSF, asking your employer to contribute to the SMSF, and investing your SMSF balance.

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 you SMSF online today.

  • Lisa Sutton

    Do I need to come and see you in person to setup an SMSF

    • superannuationwarehouse

      Lisa, the application form and general information are online. Once we have your online application, we will call you to discuss the Fund details before setting up the SMSF. So please remember to include your phone number with a new SMSF application. The application page is here:

  • Nate Marsh

    Hello, I wish to move my existing $60k of super into SMSF. Is my my super base too small? And if I wish to have 30% in physical gold and silver for diversification, would I only require basic $39 product?

    • superannuationwarehouse

      Nate, there’s no legal minimum or maximum you are allowed to have in super, its your choice when to start it.

      When going in precious metals, there’s extra accounting and audit steps involved, and therefore the fee if $79.
      Trust this makes sense.

  • Szy

    I’m looking to set up an SMSF, one for me alone, PLUS a joint SMSF with 3
    others – does this sound correct? That is can I have (or be in) more
    than 1 SMSF (assuming the SMSFs pass the sole-purpose tests etc)?

    • Hein Preller

      Szy, you can have multiple super funds, even an SMSF and retail funds, nothing wrong with that.
      It can be an investment strategy to use an SMSF for a set objective. Maybe use your own SMSF for a diversified investment portfolio and then have a separate SMSF with friends for a set strategy, say to purchase a property.
      The decision is obviously yours on how to proceed. But you are perfectly within your rights.

      Keep well,

      • Szy

        Does that mean I would need multiple SMSF bank accounts too? Or is it each SMSF has 1 bank account?
        Say there were cash (returns) flowing in to the joint SMSF and these returns were being distributed to each member on a regular basis, so they could make use of them in another (SMSF) strategy, would each member need an SMSF to distribute to?
        Could such a joint SMSF / combination be administered using SMSFWarehouse? How would the fees work?

  • Whitty

    Years ago, using my company as the trustee of my first SMSF, I and my partner are members. I am the only director of my company and my partner is not. We are no longer together, so I set up another SMSF with a new company as the trustee 3 years ago. It was a tedious task to transfer all my share and other investments to the new SMSF. I have no more investments in the old SMSF. Should I resign from the first one?

    • superannuationwarehouse

      As the old SMSF would have its own Tax File Number and have an obligation to lodge annual returns to the ATO, please make sure a final tax return is lodged for the old Fund.
      We give guidance on how to close an SMSF here:
      Please make sure a final return is lodged as the ATO may taint your compliance history if you are involved with an SMSF and returns are not lodged.
      Keep well,

  • Whitty

    My ex partner is still a member of the fund and has no intention to set up a new one like me. My company is the trustee though. Would there be a problem if I close but he carries on?

    • superannuationwarehouse


      If you are a Trustee of a previous SMSF, you still have a responsibility to ensure the annual return is lodged for this Fund.

      So if you remain as a Trustee, make sure the lodgement affairs are up to date or make sure you are removed from the Fund. If you fail in your Trustee obligations, the ATO will put a black mark behind your name and deem you unfit to be involved with a next SMSF.

      If there is a corporate trustee in place, your ex-partner can continue as a sole Member. More guidance here:

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Peace Of Mind

We are Melbourne based with clients throughout Australia. Our SMSF administration service is mostly paperless. This enable us to charge a fair fee, resulting in a good value-proposition for you.

No Advice

Superannuation Warehouse is an accounting firm and do not provide financial advice. All information provided has been prepared without taking into account any of the Trustees’ objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, Trustees are advised to consider their own circumstances before engaging our services.