Australian markets are a fantastic opportunity for businesses already operating overseas. Before you can begin trading in Australia though, you will need to register your company locally.
Setting up an Australian company will not only allow you to trade freely across the entire country, but it will also allow your business to take advantage of the country’s favourable corporate tax and liability laws. The registration process is straightforward and can be completed using forms found on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website, or it can be completed with the help of a company registration service provider such as ACG.
This article covers the process of registering an Australian company in more detail and provides helpful information on preparing your application for lodgement.
1. Choose a company structure
Australia offers several types of company structure, the most common being “Proprietary Limited” companies.
A proprietary limited structure is suitable for a wide range of businesses looking to limit the personal liability of the directors and shareholders. Companies choosing this structure also benefit from business-friendly regulations which cap the tax rate and help to increase your profits. If you want to establish a proprietary limited company in Australia, your business is required to have both a local address and at least one Resident Director living in the country full-time.
Public companies are another common structure for Australian businesses which permit raising money through public share offerings. Due to their more complex nature, public companies are subject to additional rules and stricter regulations, making the structure less suitable for some businesses.
2. Select a name for your business
All companies registered in Australia must choose a unique company name.
Your company name needs to meet three important criteria – it must be unique, it needs to pass desirability criteria such as not including restricted words and it must display the business’ legal status. For example, a proprietary limited company would be required to display “pty ltd” in its company name. To help you choose a unique name that is not already in use, ASIC provides an online tool to see whether your desired company name is available.
Companies can additionally choose to register and trade under a unique business name which is not required to display legal restrictions such as pty ltd.
3. Gather all the relevant documentation
Registering an Australian arm of an established company is a relatively simple process, but you will need to provide several key pieces of documentation.
In addition to filling out the relevant ASIC forms, you will need to provide documents detailing the information of the directors, secretaries and shareholders of your company. Directors and secretaries must be over the age of 18 and must provide signed consent as members of the company.
4. Lodge your registration with ASIC
With your structure and name chosen, it is now time to lodge your application with ASIC and pay the associated fee. If the details provided are correct and all documents are in place then the process will only take a few minutes before you receive your Australian Company Number (ACN).
Depending on the size and structure of your business, you may need to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN), Goods and Services Tax (GST) and provide other details for taxation purposes.
Can this be done online?
You can register an Australian company online using the tools and forms provided by ASIC and the Australian Government. If you provide the correct information and documents, and your chosen company and business names are available, the registration process is straightforward.
However, if you are based offshore you will find that the process is significantly more complicated as the ASIC website and documentation requirements have a domestic focus. It is therefore important to obtain the assistance of an agency based in Australia to handle the process on your behalf. A domestic agency such as ACG will also be able to assist with Resident Director and other statutory requirements.
Need help registering your company in Australia? Contact Australian Corporate Governance today!
Setting up an Australian company can have major benefits for your existing business. If you are unsure about the requirements for registering a company in Australia, the experienced team at Australian Corporate Governance can guide you through the process, ensuring all documents are correct and help you establish a fully compliant and incorporated company in Australia.
Contact our team today for more information or if you are ready to get started with registering an Australian company.