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Company Registration In The Land Down Under

Australia consistently ranks as one of the most competitive countries in the world, with the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook highlighting its resilience. More importantly, Australia has successfully integrated with several of the most important Asian countries. Thus, Australia offers a great investment opportunity for entrepreneurs through the access it provides to the Asia-Pacific region.

Why form a company in Australia?

Australia is the perfect example of consistent strong economic growth, boasting an adjusted GDP per capita of US$39,721 – higher than Germany, the UK, France and Japan. Australia benefits greatly from a highly developed financial sector that provides stability through its well regulated banking system. This perfect storm of competitiveness, location and stability has made Australia a highly sought jurisdiction for foreign direct investment.

Australian company registration

How do you set up a company in Australia?

The first step to company registration in Australia is to choose between a public company and a proprietary Limited company, the two most popular Public companies require a minimum of 3 appointed directors, and at least 2 of the directors must be Australia residents, in addition to a company secretary residing in Australia. Proprietary Limited (Pty Ltd) companies only need one director and member, though the director still needs to be an Australia resident.

The next step is to contact the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to confirm that your desired company name is available and, if so, to reserve it. Company name reservations last for two months, so company formation should be completed within that time frame.

The final step is to register with all of the authorities required by the Australian Corporations act. Companies must register for an Australian Business Number (ABN), which is used to identify your company in any business transactions and on invoices. Companies must also be registered with the ASIC. Finally, the company must register for Goods and Services Tax (GST), assuming the company meets the GST turnover limit of $75,000 or more.

What tax considerations should be made?

There are three major tax considerations that need to be made.

  1. The first is the Tax File Number (TFN), a unique reference number given by the Tax Office that quotes the tax office when the company applies for an ABN or when they first file tax returns. The TFN is not mandatory, but it makes the entire tax monitoring process significantly easier.
  2. The second is the pay-roll tax, a State tax placed on the wages paid out to employees. As this rate directly affects employers, and the rate and exemption limits differ between states, entrepreneurs should find a suitable tax professional for advice on how best to manage this tax.
  3. Finally is the pay-as-you-go withholding tax, which legally requires companies to withhold certain amounts from payments employers make to their employees. The ABN is particularly useful, as companies must withhold amounts when paying other companies unless the ABN is quoted in the invoice. These withheld amounts must be paid to the Tax Office.

It may be known as the land down under, but it is a major global business hub. Company incorporation in Australia is not so difficult, but regulations can differ from state to state and a professional services firm is needed to help determine the best pathway to taking advantage of the immense benefits provided by Australia as a jurisdiction. A savvy entrepreneur investing in Australia with the assistance of the right global services provider can quickly and efficiently form a company capable of effectively meeting any desired business objectives.

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Images:  ” Australia map and flag against white background /

Aidan has more than 16 years of international business experience in Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Aidan is a Chartered Accountant from Ireland who has lived in Singapore for many years. Prior to heading Healy Consultants, he worked with Credit Suisse Group and Ernst & Young.

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  • Facundo

    Well done guys. Cheers for the comments Niall. Greg, you should’ve pushed for more top secret info to be revealed 🙂 It’s been a great year and I look forward to a great 2012 for all.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the comment Facundo. Trust me I pushed and pushed after the interview and it is safe to say that the rumours about Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber appear to be way off the mark;)

  • Thanks Facundo, Greg’s Christmas hat was distracting me so I couldn’t answer properly 😉 

  • It seems the top secrets are still just that….best just stick around and wait for the official announcements next year.

    Really loving the community vibe and I see many businesses online looking to adopt this vital element. Although. they do seem unsure of how to implement this into their web strategy.

    What about the Barack Obama joining Bloggertone? Is that just a ruse to pull in readers ??

  • Anonymous

    Barack Obama joining Bloggertone? Now there is some great wild speculation.

  • Great invterview guys. Greg you should have that QR code smaller, I couldn’t scan it.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Mairéad. Had tried to back up so the QR code was more visable, but banged my head against the glass. So here you go………..

  • Anonymous

    Ha ha ha!  Top secret is … top secret!  Great interview Greg and Niall.  I LOVED it.  And thanks for the kind words…

    – Anita

  • Anonymous

    Glad you enjoyed the interview Anita. Looking forward to exciting news soon.

  • Adi

    Niall, how much work do you do cultivating a community within your company?

  • Hey Greg,
    Congratulations on “the wearing of the hat” with such panache, no mean feat with that particular hat I can assure you. As other commenters have mentioned, you didn’t get Niall to reveal any actual secrets, but I forgive you purely on the basis of the hat alone.
    Niall is a super community manager and he does really listen to us, as evidenced by his prolific and specific commenting on all the posts. He doesn’t always agree with us but is always respectful with his comments, which is much appreciated.
    Nice one gentlemen!~Helen

  • Great interview, nice comment regarding Niall (‘a giver and not a taker’, I’d agree with this 100%)… also love the hat Greg… 🙂

  • Great interview guys. Thanks for the insights. I am looking forward to the new Bloggertone changes. All the best and happy Christmas.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Michael. Glad you enjoyed the interview. Have a great Christmas.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Catherine…Should wear the hat more often;)

  • Anonymous

    Once again the hat has come to my rescue…..I appreciate your words of forgiveness….. I was trying to use it to hypnotise Niall into telling me his secrets….didn’t work.

  • Not a lot, seeing as it’s just me at the moment! 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing a great idea.Niall is a super community manager and he does really listen to us.Regarding Niall is very nice information.

  • Adi

    I think that’s common Niall.  Certainly the same where I am.  The holy grail is for this to become central to how we do things though, rather than something I or even the marketing team do.

  • Phew, that’s the prob with secrets, they grow legs! 🙂

  • Thanks Mairead 🙂

  • Thanks Helen, it’s easy cause we have such great people involved!

  • Thanks Adi and have a great weekend!

  • Thanks Anita, glad you liked it! 🙂

  • Thanks Catherine 🙂

  • Niall is a great community manager and is just as good helping people offline as he is online and understands the connection between the two better than anyone else I know. I started blogging at bloggertone this time last year and Niall and the Bloggertone community have helped me tremendously. Best of luck to the team in 2012.

  • Thanks Beatrice, and you continue to be a great member of our community. Long may that continue! 🙂

  • Bloggertone IS fantastic. It’s a community that is a privilege to be part of since the very beginning. I love the name, but like all change, the new name and new changes will grow on us 🙂
    Well done Greg and Niall, looking forward to working with the Bloggertone community, readers, manager and Anita in 2012.

  • And It’s a privilege to have your continued involvement, contribution and support. Thank you, Elaine! 

  • Hi Austin & welcome to TYB – The message of this post for me is that first impressions count for a huge amount when it comes to attracting and securing customers offline & online. It’s an area that many small businesses in particular overlook and don’t invest, not a good plan!   

  • Hi Aidan & welcome to Tweak Your Biz. Australia remains a very attractive destination to business, for sure. I be interested to know whether or not the big tech companies, Google, Facebook etc have bases there?

  • Aidan: How would you compare and contrast registering a company in New Zealand, USA, the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe? Do you have to have a physical presence in Australia, or could you have an online store registered down under?

  • Vishal Ramanah

    This was the first time when the registration in Australia was between in public and atleast 2 director must be of Australia. Australia is good location for offshore company formation. A cost effective business Enterprise invest in the Australia because it is right global services provider and one can effectively meet desired objective of business.

  • Vishal Ojha

    Thanks for sharing a nice piece of blog with us. I am glad
    to know about the immense potentialities that the Australia holds in terms of
    business incorporation. I am from Singapore and until now, I was only aware of
    the huge scope of business potentialities has to offer by starting a company in Singapore.
    Thanks again!

  • peoplewanting

    was the first time when the registration in Australia was between in
    public and atleast 2 director must be of Australia. Australia is good
    location for offshore company formation.
    A cost effective business Enterprise invest in the Australia because it
    is right global services provider and one can effectively meet desired
    objective of business.

  • Ali

    Good Article .. Startup – create a Company in Egypt

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