Setting up a business in Australia

Setting up a business in Australia
Updated 2019-07-30 09:32

Australia encourages investments in the country and allows for overseas residents to create businesses. Investors are very welcome, and conditions to open companies in Australia are optimum. New businesses aid in job creation, improve the economy and benefit Australia in many ways. Innovation and creativity are recognised as important to the economy, with overseas investors able to create companies in Australia, provided certain conditions are met.

If you start a business in Australia, or if you intend to work as a freelancer, you will have to apply for an Australian Business Number, or ABN. The application can be done online and is a straightforward process. For more information or to apply for an ABN number, please visit the Australian Business Register website.

Innovation and investment visas

Dependant on your situation, you may be able to apply for a Business Innovation and Investment Visa. This visa allows you to own and manage a business in Australia, conduct business and investment activity in Australia, or undertake an entrepreneurial activity in Australia. This is a provisional visa that allows you to stay in Australia for up to four years and three months. Costs start from AUD 4,985. After this expires, you are eligible to apply for the permanent stream of the visa which allow you to stay in Australia permanently.

The following steps can be followed to apply for this visa:

Submit an expression of interest through the Department of Immigration SkillSelect online service. You must wait to see if a state or territory government decides to invite you to apply for a visa. You can wait for a state or territory government to contact you, or you can contact them directly. If you receive an invitation, you can then apply for a visa. You will need to meet certain requirements and provide documents to support your application.

If you are granted one of these provisional visas, it will be valid for four years, and you will have completed the first step towards getting a permanent Innovation and Investor Visa. For more information on this visa type, visit the Department of Immigration's website.

Good to know:

You can't ask for an investor's visa if you do not have previous management experience. Your managerial skills in your home country will be analysed in detail before the immigration service can grant an investor visa.

Permanent business talent visas

You may also be eligible for the Permanent Business Talent Visa if you meet the following conditions. You must have:

A net value of at least AUD1.5 million (lawfully acquired)
An annual business turnover of at least AUD3 million for at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
A total net assets of at least AUD400,000 as the ownership interest in one or more qualifying businesses for least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply

For more information about how foreign residents are taxed when doing business in Australia, please see the Australian Taxation Office website.

Good to know:

For help and advice on how to set up a business in Australia, please consult the Australian Government Business website. This allows you to read up on preparing for business, making critical decisions, making sure you are successful, registering your business, preparing for taxes, and advice on laws that apply to you and protecting your business.

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