How much does it cost to set up a SMSF?

How much does it cost to set up a SMSF?

How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a SMSF?

Setting up a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) is a popular choice for individuals seeking greater control and flexibility over their retirement savings. However, it’s essential to understand the costs involved in establishing and maintaining an SMSF. In this article, we will break down the expenses associated with creating and managing an SMSF. How much does it cost to set up a SMSF?

The Initial Setup Costs

When establishing an SMSF, several initial costs come into play:

1. Trust Deed

The first and most crucial expense is the trust deed. This legal document outlines the rules and regulations of your SMSF. Trust deeds are typically purchased through legal professionals or online providers. Costs can vary, but they often range from $200 to $800. It’s essential to ensure your trust deed aligns with the latest superannuation legislation.

2. ASIC Registration

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) requires SMSFs to be registered. The registration fee is around $51, as of my last knowledge update in 2022. Keep in mind that these fees can change, so it’s advisable to check with ASIC for the most up-to-date costs.

3. Corporate Trustee Setup

If your SMSF has a corporate trustee structure, there will be additional costs. Registering a company with ASIC can cost around $500 to $1,000, depending on whether you engage a professional service or do it yourself. It’s important to have a corporate trustee to provide additional protection and flexibility.

4. Professional Fees

Seeking professional advice is a wise step in setting up an SMSF. The services of an accountant, financial advisor, or legal expert can help ensure compliance and prevent costly mistakes. The fees for these professionals can vary, but it’s typical to budget for around $2,000 to $3,000 for their guidance during the setup process.

How much does it cost to set up a SMSF?
How much does it cost to set up a SMSF?

Ongoing Annual Costs

In addition to the initial setup costs, SMSFs also incur annual expenses:

1. Administration Fees

Managing an SMSF involves administrative tasks such as preparing financial statements, tax returns, and annual audits. Depending on the complexity of your fund and the service provider you choose, administration fees can range from $1,000 to $2,000 or more per year.

2. Audit Fees

SMSFs are legally required to undergo an annual audit. Audit fees typically cost between $300 and $1,000, depending on the fund’s complexity and the auditor’s charges.

3. ATO Supervisory Levy

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) charges an annual supervisory levy for each SMSF. The current levy is $259, as of 2022. Keep in mind that this amount may change over time.

4. Investment Costs

SMSFs may invest in various assets, including shares, property, and managed funds. These investments come with their own associated costs, such as brokerage fees, property management fees, and fund management fees. The expenses will depend on your investment strategy.

Additional Costs to Consider

Beyond the typical setup and ongoing costs, there are other expenses to factor in:

1. Insurance Premiums

Consider whether you want to purchase insurance within your SMSF, such as life insurance or income protection. Premiums can vary widely based on the type and level of coverage you choose.

2. Legal and Professional Advice

Ongoing legal and financial advice is crucial for keeping your SMSF compliant with changing regulations. Budget for ongoing fees associated with professional advice.

3. Investment Strategy Costs

If your SMSF employs a specific investment strategy, there may be associated costs, such as consulting fees for financial advisors or investment management fees.

does it cost to set up a SMSF


Setting up and maintaining an SMSF offers control and flexibility in managing your retirement savings. However, it’s essential to be aware of the costs involved to make an informed decision. Initial setup costs can range from $200 to $1,000 or more, while annual expenses can add up to $1,000 to $3,000 or higher. Additionally, ongoing costs related to investments, insurance, and professional advice should be considered in your SMSF budget. Understand how much it costs to set up a self managed super fund here.

By understanding these costs, you can better plan and manage your SMSF while working toward your retirement goals. Keep in mind that costs can fluctuate, so staying updated with current regulations and expenses is crucial to managing your SMSF effectively.

Remember to consult with financial professionals for personalized advice tailored to your specific SMSF needs.

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