Australia is an attractive market to set up a business. Ranked third in the Asia Pacific region for overall competitiveness, and world wide for countries with a population over 20 million, it comes second to the United States. However, there are a number of considerations when choosing how to enter the Australian market.
Here are our top considerations for establishing a business in Australia:
1. Business structure
Generally you will need to enter by establishing a new company, registering as a foreign company or acquiring an existing company. Within this you will need to choose between Australia’s most common structures.
Establishing a new Australian company or subsidiary operating as an Australian company is a legal entity. In Australia you must be registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Even if you decide to carry on business in Australia as a foreign company you need to be registered as such with ASIC. You will need to be eligible to do so and comply with ongoing regulations.
You can also choose to purchase an existing Australian company. You may be required to submit a formal proposal to the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). You can find more information regarding investing in Australian businesses here.
2. Listing on the Australian Stock Exchange
The primary stock exchange in Australia is the Australian Securities Exchange or ASX. You can apply for a listing on the ASX as either an Australian or international company. In order to be listed on the ASX there are requirements which are set out in the exchange listing rules and these include company disclosure and reporting requirements.
We advise working with an experienced local accountant who can assist you with this process.
3. Business premises
Whether you are wanting to purchase, lease or develop commercial property there are rules and regulations. You may require approvals and assessments. These are regulated and administered by both state and territory government and local government agencies.
4. Intellectual Property Laws
You will want to ensure that your rights and name are protected to ensure that others can’t use them. Generally this can be done by registering a trade mark and domain name. You may require the assistance of an Intellectual Property Lawyer in Australia.
In Australia tax is governed by the Australia Taxation Office (ATO). As a general rule of thumb, if you are earning money in Australia regardless of your structure you will be required to pay tax. It is imperative that you understand Australian tax law and what your obligations are regarding tax. Failure to comply with the ATO can result in heavy fines or even a criminal conviction.
Setting up the appropriate systems for GST and PAYG is crucial for your local operations. Choosing the right software keeps you abreast of all legislative changes ensuring data and systems comply.
It can be difficult to set up your own system without an accounting background. Our team of fully qualified accounting professionals use best practice accounting standards to integrate every aspect of the system with our local legislation ensuring compliance with regulatory bodies.
There are a number of decisions to consider when starting a business in Australia. At the Azure Group we can provide you with a full range of advice and support to ensure that you make the right decisions from the beginning. Contact us today.