The Why, What and How of Setting Up Your New SMSF

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SMSF’s are not for everyone but for many controlling their own retirement savings and watching it grow is a very rewarding and beneficial experience. Once you have determined you are suitable for an SMSF what do you do next? Here is a “how to” guide for setting up your new SMSF.

So you have heard of SMSF’s and you think it would be a great vehicle for you. But what next? Let’s take a quick look at the why, the what and the how for setting up an SMSF for you.

Why might an SMSF suit me?

  • An SMSF can be used to own commercial property that can be leased back to your own business
  • An SMSF has access to a wider range of asset classes such as crypto, direct property, collectibles and gold. Watch this ATO video about what investments may be restricted.
  • You will have complete control over your investment trades in a timely fashion
  • Having an SMSF with family members will allow you to pool your resources to build wealth. From 1 July 2021 the number of members in an SMSF has increased to six.

What do I need to do first?

Determining that an SMSF is right for you is the first and foremost important step with regard to SMSF’s. A Statement of Advice written by a financial advisor is strongly recommended at this point.

What do I need to know about SMSF’s before I start?

  • Make sure you understand the rules surrounding SMSF’s as not breaching them is very important. The ATO has a great pamphlet to guide you through the basics but you should also do an online course to ensure you know the rules in detail
  • Ensure you have the time to manage your SMSF’s financial affairs
  • Understand the costs involved in both the initial setup, the ongoing administration and the windup. This will be covered in your Statement of Advice
  • Engage the right professionals where necessary.
  • Your superannuation savings have the sole purpose of providing for the retirement of the fund members or beneficiaries. This must be at the forefront of your mind and every decision you make throughout the lifetime of the fund. Remember, it is your money but not yet!

Once you have covered the why and the what and engaged the right professionals where required usually the how is fairly straightforward:

  • Determine who the members of the fund will be
  • Establish the SMSF trust deed and corporate trustee & sign the appropriate documents including the ATO trustee declaration
  • Apply for the fund ABN and TFN (your financial advisor may be able to assist with this)
  • Setup the fund’s bank account
  • Prepare the investment strategy of the fund. Watch this ATO video to find out more: Your investment strategy
  • Roll the pre-determined amount from your existing super to your new SMSF. Again your Statement of Advice will cover how much you should roll out and why
  • Direct your contributions to your new SMSF (if advised as per the Statement of Advice)
  • Setup insurances if required (refer to your Statement of Advice)
  • Get investing!!!!


So as you can see there is a process involved in setting up a SMSF and this should not be taken lightly. However for many, these investment vehicles are very suitable for building their retirement wealth. It just important to get it right. Contact us here if you would like to take the first step.

This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs.