A Guide To Start A New Business In Australia Being A Foreigner

How to start a new business in Australia as a foreigner

These days, people prefer to expand their businesses on global scales. Australia is one such popular destination where foreigners are interested in starting their own businesses. Australia is home to a prospering economy with an abundance of natural and human resources. Apart from this, it is a multilingual country with a stable regulatory environment fit for investors.

The Australian government encourages foreign citizens to start businesses in their country that would contribute to economic prosperity. Entrepreneurs who have already established businesses in their home country can work to make their debut in Australia with their business ideas in the Australian market.

Key benefits of starting a business in Australia

A new business as a company, partnership firm, or sole proprietorship can be started in Australia.

Corporate taxes are lower in Australia.

The minimum share capital is not required in Australia.

Australia has many free trade agreements with countries in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

A business can be quickly incorporated in Australia.

Australia offers easy visa requirements to start a business.

Australia offers a multilingual workforce to hire employees across cultures.

The government of Australia encourages entrepreneurial talent and diversified business expertise. Australia offers business innovations and investment programmes to eligible foreigners who want to start a business. The visa options for starting a business in Australia are

Business Innovation and Investment Visa (provisional)

An individual with business skills is eligible for a business innovation and investment visa. It is necessary to be nominated by a territory or state before a foreigner can apply for this visa.

The following is the process of applying for the visa:

Submit an Expression of Interest through the Australian Department of Home Affairs Skillselect online service.

Check if a territory, state government, or CEO of Austrade provides an invitation to apply for a visa. Entrepreneurs can wait for the territory or state government to contact them, or they can contact them directly. When entrepreneurs receive an invitation, they can apply for the visa, but they need to meet certain requirements and provide documents supporting their application. The business innovation and investment visa is valid for 4 to 5 years

Business Innovation and Investment Visa( Permanent)

When entrepreneurs meet the requirements of a provisional visa, they can apply for business innovation and investment. Permanent visa by meeting certain additional requirements. Entrepreneurs must meet financial thresholds with character and health tests. This visa facility gives entrepreneurs and their families permanent residence in Australia, which they can apply for later.

Prerequisites to start a new business in Australia as a foreigner

As a foreign entrepreneur, you must

Choose a business structure.

An entrepreneur can choose from different business structures for his or her business to establish it in Australia. The business can be established as a sole proprietorship, partnership firm, or corporation. A sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business where the entrepreneur owns all the assets and liabilities of the firm. It is the simplest form of business structure in Australia.

The partnership, on the other hand, requires at least two partners who can enter into a partnership agreement to establish the business. Each partner is responsible for keeping track of accounts and paying tax on the profit earned by the firm. Partnership  is liable to be registered with ASIC.

A company is a legal entity registered with ASIC that has its own finances, property, and employees. The directors run the company, which must have one shareholder. A company can use its profits to grow the business or distribute them to shareholders. In Australia, different types of business structures have different tax implications. Thus, an entrepreneur should choose the right structure for their business based on their targets and goals.

Select a business name.

After choosing the business structure, the next step is to choose the name of the company: partnership firm, sole proprietorship, or business name. Entrepreneurs must ensure that the business name is available to register with ASIC and does not infringe any trademarks or similar business names in Australia before finalising the name. Entrepreneurs can use the name check tool to see if any proposed name is available to register and is not similar to any existing business or domain name.

Have a business address

It is necessary to have a registered office address in Australia to carry on its operations, unless it is a sole proprietorship. The registered business address is the registered office and principal place of business activities. The business address should have a PO Box, and it must be within Australia.

Director and shareholder of a company

Whenever an entrepreneur establishes a business in Australia, it is necessary to have directors and shareholders. Company directors are required to apply for a director identification number as per Australian law.

Register the business with ASIC.

Foreign companies need to appoint a legal agent who is authorised to accept notices and services on their behalf. For company registration, entrepreneurs should provide basic information about their business, including its business name, registered office address, and contact details of the company secretary. Information about partners, directors, and shareholders should also be provided to ASIC to register the business. The ASIC issues an Australian Company Number (ACN) that is required to apply for an ABN after the application is processed. The ABN registers the company and issues a certificate of registration when an application is accepted.

Register for a tax file number.

The TFN (Tax File Number) can be done online or by visiting the Australian Post Office. This TFN must be unique for a business to file tax returns. A separate TFN is not required for Sole proprietorship: the TFN of a sole trader is used to file business returns. The partnership or company has to register for a separate TFN number.

Apply for an ABN( Australian Business Number).

Once obtaining registration from ASIC, businesses can apply for an ABN to operate in Australia. It is a unique 11-digit number that identifies the business to the community and government.

Register the business name with ASIC.

The business name should be registered with ASIC. It can be registered after obtaining the ABN or while applying for the ABN. Through the Australian Government’s Business Registration Service (BRS), entrepreneurs can apply to obtain an ABN and register their business name online.

Register for GST.

As a foreigner, special rules are applicable. It is necessary to check if a business meets the GST threshold limit. Generally, after getting an ABN, businesses can register for GST.

Open a local bank account.

When a business is registered, a separate bank account has to be opened. It is an essential document necessary for business.

Apply for required licences or permits.

The licence to operate in Australia differs by state, industry, and local laws. The licences and permits for the business depend on the activities, type, and location. Entrepreneurs can visit the website to obtain licences and permits.

How to start a business in Australia 

A Guide To Start A New Business In Australia Being A Foreigner