5 Common Questions for Foreigners That Wish to Set Up and Own a Business in Australia

5 Common Questions for Foreigners That Wish to Set Up and Own a Business in Australia

There are more than 200 countries in the world and some allow 100% foreign ownership of a business while others do not. Luckily, Australia is in the former group, which means a non-citizen can 100% own a business.

Here are a few common questions that foreigners ask when they are interested in setting up a business in Australia.

Q 1: What are the options for a foreigner to set up a business in Australia?

A: There are two main options; you can set up a private limited company or you can set up a branch office of an existing foreign business. You need to register the business with the ASIC to set up a branch office. The company registration fee for Australia is fixed and the law firm that facilitates the business registration has a fixed fee to cover their admin costs.

Q 2: Who can be a director of an Australian limited company? 

A: A person who is, a) over the age of 18 and b) has not been disqualified for business management, can become a resident director of a company. They must be resident in Australia for a private or public limited company.

Q 3: Can the resident director of an Australian limited company be a foreigner?

A: No, you must have one Australian citizen who is the Resident Director of a limited company. A public company must have 2 Resident Directors who are both residents of Australia. Of course, a foreigner can be named as a director, but not a resident director.

Q 4: Is a representative office a separate business entity?

A: No, if the foreign business registers with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the office is permitted to carry out specific business activities. This is a non-trading entity and the parent company is liable. If you are looking for investment tips, click here.

Q 5: Do I need a registered business address in Australia?

A: If you set up a private or public company, you will need an Australian registered business address. This address can be different to the official business address and it is used by ASIC to send important documentation.

If you would like to learn more about registering a foreign business in Australia, search the web for a leading local law firm that works in this field. They would be only too happy to share a 30-minute Zoom call when you can discuss your needs.

Such a company can advise you on which type of business to register, plus they will give you a list of essential documentation and assist you with setting up bank accounts, which you will need.

If you require additional business services, the law firm would have all the connections you need; general office staff, bookkeeping, accounting and many other services.