Registering a Company in Australia: How to Start

In this article, we’re exploring registering a company in Australia. But first, it’s important to note that Australia has been getting a bad reputation with people that appreciate their freedom.

However, it’s still a developed economy with business opportunities that certain individuals may want to take advantage of. So, we’re going to share details on how to get started registering your business if that’s of interest to you.

That said, while there is opportunity in Australia, we’re seeing more people want to open businesses and move their banking outside of Australia. And, we don’t expect that trend to slow down in the coming years.

This article is part of our free series on corporate banking solutions and features around the world, which you can access by clicking here.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Registering a Company in Australia
  2. Who Can Register an Australian Company?
  3. What Are the Requirements to Set Up a Company in Australia?
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Ready to Explore Your Options?

Registering a Company in Australia

Registering a company in Australia requires applicants to complete a formal company registration process. This includes choosing between company structure options, deciding how the company will be governed, completing business name registration, business registration forms, and other requirements. 

Not surprisingly, while there are legal requirements for company registration, there are also requirements that all company directors must meet as well. In particular, this includes a new ID requirement for the directors of all companies in Australia.

Likewise, even after an Australian company is formed, there are also taxation and registration obligations to meet on an ongoing basis.

Importantly, Australian companies receive an Australian Company Number (ACN), which must be presented on all official company correspondence, documents, cheques, and more. That said, if an Australian company has an Australian Business Number (ABN), this can be used instead of the ACN.

Who Can Register an Australian Company?

Unlike many developed countries, Australia has very strict rules governing who can register and act as a director of an Australian company. For example, while it is possible for a foreign non-resident to register a company in Australia, they will not be able to complete the registration process on their own. This is because at least one director of a company registered in Australia must be an Australian resident.

What Are the Requirements to Set Up a Company in Australia?

The requirements to set up a company in Australia include choosing a structure, determining governance, selecting a company name, deciding on the state of registration, providing addresses, choosing directors, and issuing shares.

  • Choosing a company structure
  • Determining the form of governance
  • Selecting a company name
  • Choosing the state/territory of registration
  • Providing a registered address
  • Providing a place of business address
  • Appointing the company directors
  • Issuing shares to the shareholders

While these requirements may seem straightforward, there are still a few nuances that are unimportant to consider, which we’ll discuss below.

Do I Need to Have a Local Branch Office?

When registering a company in Australia, one of the requirements is to provide a local registered office address. Additionally, the company must provide a principal place of doing business.

Can My Holding Company Be Owned By a Non-Resident?

Yes, a holding company can be owned by a non-resident in Australia. However, in order to register a company in Australia, at least one of the company directors must be an Australian resident.

Do I Need to Have a Specific Business Structure?

No, you do not need to have a specific business structure in Australia. Instead, you can choose to work for yourself as a sole trader.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people looking at registering a company in Australia. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

How Much Does it Cost to Set Up a Company in Australia?

The cost to set up a company in Australia is between AUD 417 and AUD 506, depending if you want to set up a company limited by guarantee or a proprietary company limited by shares.

Can a Non-Resident Register a Company in Australia?

Yes, a non-resident can register a company in Australia. However, a non-resident cannot complete company registration in Australia on their own. Instead, they will need to appoint a resident director in order for company registration to be complete.

Can You Use an LLC in Australia?

No, you cannot use an LLC in Australia. This is because Australia does not offer LLCs as options. Instead, individuals looking to register a company in Australia can choose between a company limited by guarantee or a proprietary company.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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