Australia company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN AUSTRALIA IN 2018

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with business registration in Australia. Our services include i) Australia company formation services ii) government license registration iii) corporate bank account opening services in Australia and abroad iv) employee recruitment services v) visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions in Sydney and other Australian cities.

Summary table of Australia company registration

SummaryTax resident LLCTrading trustBranch companyRepresentative officeLLP
Best use of company?All products and servicesOnly pay tax on distributionsCompleting projects without an officeMarketing and researchProfessional services
Legally tax exempt if properly structured?NoYesNoYesYes
Corporate bank account location?WestpacANZ New Zealand Standard CharteredHSBCCommonwealth
Client must travel to Australia?NoNoNoNoNo
Can secure trade finance?YesNoYesNoYes
Limited liability entity?YesYesNoNoNo
GST payable on sales to local customers?YesYesYesNoYes
Withholding tax on dividends to foreign shareholders?YesYesYesNoYes
Australia tax payable on worldwide income?YesNoNoNoNo
Average total engagement costs?AU$8,997AU$20,976AU$9,990AU$8,900U$8,847
Average total engagement period?8 weeks10 weeks10 weeks10 weeks9 weeks

See full table

Accounting and tax considerationsTax resident LLCTrading trustBranch companyRepresentative officeLLP
Statutory corporation tax payable?30%0%30%0%0%
Must file an annual Australia tax return?YesYesYesYesYes
Must file annual financial statements?YesYesYesYesYes
Investment income is legally tax exempt in Australia?NoNoNoNoNo
Access to double taxation treaties?YesNoYesNoYes
Monthly GST reporting to the Government?YesYesYesNoYes
Legally tax exempt entity?NoYesNoYesYes
Must appoint a public officer?YesYesYesYesNo
Dividends received are legally tax exempt?NoNoNoNoNo
Company registrationTax resident LLCTrading trustBranch companyRepresentative officeLLP
Australia Resident director/partner/manager required?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum number of shareholders/partners/beneficiaries?11Parent companyParent company2
Minimum number of directors/managers/trustees?11112
Minimum paid up share capital?AU$1AU$1NoneNoneAU$2
Shelf companies available?YesNoNoNoNo
Time to incorporate a new entity?1 week3 weeks2 weeks2 weeks1 week
Can easily convert to a local PLC company?YesNoNoNoNo
Can have preference shareholders/partners/beneficiaries?YesYesNoNoYes
Business considerationsTax resident LLCTrading trustBranch companyRepresentative officeLLP
Can invoice local customers?YesYesYesNoYes
Can hire local staff?YesYesYesYesYes
Can rent local office space?YesYesYesYesYes
Secures a residence visa for business owner?YesNoYesYesYes
Good entity for trademark registration?YesNoYesNoNo

Australia has signed free trade agreements (click link)?Yes, see this page
This country is a member of WIPO and TRIPS?Yes
This country is a member of the ICSID?Yes
Average custom duties suffered?1.9%
Government foreign investment approval required?No
Average monthly office rental? (US$ per sq m)A$54
Minimum statutory monthly salary?AU$2,600
Average monthly US$ salary for local employees?AU$6,500
Australia $ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)2.5%
US$ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)0.75%
Overseas remittance currency controls?No
Public registrar of shareholders and directors?Yes
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available?Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available?Yes
Quality of e-banking platform?Excellent
Crowd funding available in this country?Yes

Australia business setup summary

  1. Registering an LLC in Australia is straightforward and usually does not take more than one week, even for wholly foreign-owned business. Besides an LLC, some of our Clients choose to setup either a branch office or a representative office, based on their business needs. See this page for information on average engagement timelines;
  2. The main challenge for a foreigner willing to start business in Australia is to find a resident willing to be appointed to the position of resident director. Healy Consultants assists our Clients to meet this obligation by providing nominee services;
  3. Australian businesses are subject to corporate income tax, at a standard rate of 30%. This does not change according to the State of registration of the company. See this page for a comparison of Australian States;
  4. There is no requirement to open a corporate bank account in Australia, as a local company can be registered with a capital of only AU$1. The company can hence have a corporate bank account located overseas;
  5. While many foreigners are interested to live and work Australia, the local authorities have recently tightened immigration criteria. See this page for further information on how to relocate to Australia.

Press the link headings below to read detailed, relevant, up to date information.

  • Benefits and problems

    Benefits of Australia company registration

    Australia business registration advantage

    1. Our Clients will find it exceptionally easy to setup their businesses in Australia because:
      • An Australian company can be registered with a capital of AU$1 by 1 director and 1 shareholder of any nationality. Furthermore, within 1 week, Healy Consultants will provide our Client their company’s ABN, ACN and TFN;
      • Australia hosts a large number of reputable local and international banks. Healy Consultants has excellent relationships with these banks, which will enable our Clients to open bank accounts without travel to the country;
      • As a result of the above, the World Bank ranked Australia as the 11th best jurisdiction for “Starting a Business” in their annual Doing Business survey.
    2. An Australian company affords Clients certain advantages including:
      • Australia promotes free trade and has concluded trade agreements with multiple countries including New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, and the US;
      • Investors can obtain government incentives through Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), which helps international companies source goods and services from Australia. Austrade also identifies potential Australia investment projects and strategic alliance partners for those intending to pursue business registration;
      • Our Clients registering an Australian company will benefit from a reduced tax rate of 28.5% (compared to the previous corporate tax rate of 30%) for companies that have an aggregated annual turnover of less than AU$2 million;
      • Australia is an excellent location in the Asia Pacific region for investment into research and development. Australia is ranked top 10 among OECD member nations for its total expenditure on research and development;
      • Dividends and capital gains received from both Australian and global subsidiaries are subject to a reduced corporate tax rate of up to 15% if i) the shares have been held for 1 year and ii) represent over 10% of the subsidiary’s share capital.

    Problems with Australia company registration

    1. In accordance with Section 201A of the Australia Corporations Act 2001, every Australian Company shall have at least one director who is ordinarily resident in Australia. Most of our Clients request Healy Consultants to provide the resident director. If required, Healy Consultants’ resident director service fee amounts to AU$5,910 per annum;
    2. Domestic and international income suffers corporation tax at 28.5%. Furthermore, every company is required to submit annual audited financial statements and a corporate tax return to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). If the company’s sales revenue is less than AU$100,000, an audit exemption will be granted;
    3. A public register of shareholders and directors is publicly available. Although this limits privacy, it enhances commercial transparency in Australia.
  • Best uses for an Australian company

    1. Healy Consultants recommends our Clients to choose Australian as their base for Asia Pacific operations because:
      • An Australian company is the perfect corporate vehicle for stating a new business as it enjoys excellent reputation with Clients, suppliers, investors, and venture capitalists;
      • Our Clients who wish to promote their business to stakeholders in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands can take advantage of Australia’s proximity to these countries. This is made easier since an Australian company’s resident director can also satisfy New Zealand’s resident director requirement;
      • Our Clients will find it easy to operate in Australia since the country i) is English speaking ii) has a well-educated labour force and iii) has a well-developed financial sector;

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Contact us

For additional information on our business registration services in Australia, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Karen Lee, directly:
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