A Roadmap to Company Registration Australia for foreigners


Australia presents a myriad of opportunities for businesses seeking global expansion, but before you start a business in Australia it is important that you understand the steps to Company Registration in Australia.

Here's what you need to know about Company Registration Australia

Business Structure Australia 

When registering a business in Australia, a foreign company may choose to operate under one of the following business structures:

  • A company (otherwise known as a subsidiary); or 
  • A branch (otherwise known as a registered foreign company).

A subsidiary is a company that is owned or controlled by a parent company, also referred to as a holding company. This structure allows you to conduct business in Australia as a separate legal entity. 

Alternatively, unlike a subsidiary, a branch does not constitute a separate legal entity, rather it is an extension of an existing company. Section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001 dictates that a foreign company is a body corporate that is incorporated outside Australia or an unincorporated body that is formed outside Australia or does not hold its head office in Australia. Conducive to a branch carrying on business in Australia, it must register as a foreign company through the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

Company or Branch

Most foreigners choose to register a company (subsidiary) in Australia, given that this business structure is a separate legal entity and the financial risk posed to your existing parent company is minimised.

Related: Subsidiary or Branch: Choose the right Business Structure when Setting up in Australia

Company Registration Australia 

Company registration in Australia involves starting a company as its own legal entity (a subsidiary), which lets you conduct business in Australia.

Within Australia, the most common types of companies are:

  • Proprietary Limited (Pty Ltd) companies cannot raise money from the general public through share issues; and
  • Public companies (Ltd) usually formed to raise or borrow public money by listing the company's shares for trading on a stock exchange.

Companies are governed by the ASIC, which administers the Corporations Act 2001 and other legislation. Public companies must also comply with the rules of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

Can a foreign citizen register an Australian company? 

As a foreign citizen, you are able to register a company in Australia. However, you must have at least one director and one public officer that resides in Australia and a physical Australian address for the registered office of the company. 

Related: Why do you need an Australian Resident Director when Registering a Company in Australia?

What are the requirements for Company Registration in Australia? 

The process of Company Registration Australia can be quiet complex, which is why Azure Group’s international team, who have extensive experience and knowledge in the Australian Corporations Law and other Compliance & Regulatory requirements in Australia have developed a roadmap to dissect and simplify the steps involved in starting a company in Australia.


Steps to Registering a Company in Australia:

Once you have assessed your unique circumstances and familiarised yourself with the Australian Company Registration process, there are several succeeding steps involved in starting a company in Australia. Namely:

  • Director Identification Number (DIN) Application
  • Company Formation 
  • Appointing an Australian Resident Director 
  • Registered Office Address 
  • Preparation and Lodgement of Certified Documents 
  • Bank Account Set-up 
  • Audit Relief Application 
  • Substituted Accounting Period 
  • Workers' Compensation 
  • Post Set-up Formalities

Each of these steps are explained in our roadmap to Company Registration Australia, which can be downloaded here:LEARN MORE ABOUT STEPS TO REGISTERING A COMPANY IN AUSTRALIA

What to consider after you have Registered a Company in Australia? 

After registering a company in Australia, you will need to ensure the company upholds ongoing compliance, maintains up-to-date company details, displays the company’s ABN on any documents published by the company and displays the company name when conducting business. If employing staff you would need employment contracts that are fit for purpose in Australia. For more details about the requirements to maintaining your Australian presence, please get in touch with our team.

About Azure Group

Azure Group has built a dedicated International Client Service Team who have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field of Company Registration Australia, and maintaining the ongoing Australian presence of international companies through our extensive service offerings.

Get in Touch

When preparing to register a company in Australia, we recommend contacting our experts in Company Registration Australia, who will provide strategic advice and an in-depth explanation of the associated steps involved in starting a business in Australia. 

Have you noticed our #FridayExpertTips... here's one that relates to #International 

"Entering a new market often requires a unique Business Plan and Strategy; this is due to different cultural needs, competitor landscapes, business operating costs, etc. It may be worthwhile hiring an expert when expanding globally."


October is Cyber Security Awareness Month: Top 3 Things to Protect your Business online
4 Reasons why you should Consider Outsourced Finance

About Author

Azure Group
Azure Group

Azure Group is the leading Chartered Accounting, Business Advisory and Strategic Advisory firm supporting the growth & success of fast growing entrepreneurial businesses.

Related Posts
10 Essential Tips for Company Formation in Australia for Foreigners
10 Essential Tips for Company Formation in Australia for Foreigners
Expanding Your Business to China? Here's what you should know
Expanding Your Business to China? Here's what you should know
Corporate Governance for Foreign Business: The Role of an Australian Resident Director
Corporate Governance for Foreign Business: The Role of an Australian Resident Director


Subscribe To Blog

Subscribe to Email Updates