How Are Court Fees Calculated

Fees for filing most documents, for setting down, for hearing, for mediation and for some services are calculated according to the type of body or person liable to pay them.

For most fees, from 1 July 2015 a corporation pays the higher rate of fees and all others, including any individual, small business, unincorporated not-for-profit association and public authority, pay the lower rate.

From that same date, for some specified bankruptcy filing and examination fees only a publicly listed company pays the highest rate of fees. A corporation and a public authority both pay the next highest rate. All others, including any individual, small business and unincorporated not-for-profit association, pay the lowest rate.

For those specified bankruptcy filing and examination fees only, a publicly listed company is any company listed on a stock exchange or financial market, whether in Australia or anywhere else in the world.

A corporation includes:

  • a company;
  • a body corporate;
  • an unincorporated body that, under the law in the place where it was formed, can sue or be sued or hold property in the name of the secretary of the body or an office holder appointed for that purpose;
  • a corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006; and
  • a trade union.

However, a corporation does not include:

  • a corporation sole (an example would be an Archbishop or Bishop of a Church who holds property for the Church in perpetual succession);
  • a small business;
  • an unincorporated not-for-profit association; and
  • a public authority.

A public authority is:

  • a body or authority of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory, including:
    • a Department of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory;
    • a Department of the Parliament established under the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, a Department of the Parliament or of a State or a Department of the legislature of a Territory; or
    • any other non-corporate Commonwealth entity within the meaning of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013;
  • a person representing a body or authority of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory;
  • a Minister of the Commonwealth or for a State or Territory; or
  • a statutory office holder.

A small business is any business with:

  • no more than 19 employees; and
  • a total turnover of less than $2 million each year.

A not-for-profit association is any society, club, institution or body that is not formed for the purpose of trading or securing financial profit from its dealings for its members.

If the ‘party’ liable to pay a fee is made up of more than one body or individual, then the highest rate of fee which can apply is payable. For example, for most fees, if a party is made up of a corporation and an individual, then the fee will be calculated at the corporation rate. If the party is made up of a publicly listed company and a corporation and the fee is one of the specified bankruptcy filing or examination fees, then the fee will be calculated at the publicly liste company rate.

So that the Court can assess the correct fee which applies, each party filing any document which attracts a fee must either select (or confirm) the party “corporation type” when eLodging the document or complete a Party Category Information form (available for download from this page or on request from each District Registry). The Court may also require parties to complete similar forms before other fees, for example setting down or hearing fees, can be assessed. Lawyers may, on instruction, complete the Party Category Information on behalf of their client or clients or provide the required information by letter.

Updated July 2015