How to Start a Business in Australia?

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Starting a new business might be really scary – it involves a lot of planning and financial decisions. Australia is considered as very friendly to business-minded people.

You need to decide first what your intentions are: investing in a new business, working as a foreign company or acquiring an existing company in Australia. There are four basic business structures Down Under – think which one is most suitable for your business: sole trader, companies, partnerships and trusts. Each and every company in Australia are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

Before you start a business, you will need:

Business Plan

This is the first and most crucial step. It gives you the insights of your business for the coming years and it outlines the route you intend to take, the prospective revenues, costs, competitors etc.

Get an ABN

This is a unique 11 digit number which is individual for each business and is called Australian Business Number (ABN). If you have already worked in Australia and you have a TFN, the ABN doesn’t replace it but it’s used for business tax purposes.

Business Visa Options

Australian Business Short Stay Visa

This 3-month visa might suit you if your plans are to attend meetings, negotiations and business visits. It doesn’t allow you to work in Australia.

Australian Business Innovation and Investment Visa (provisional)

This is a 4-year visa that might be useful if you want to manage a new or existing business and/or make an investment in Australia. It gives you an option to extend your stay for another 2 years should you need to develop your business there. You first need to submit an Expression of Interest and to be nominated by an Australian state.

Australian Business Innovation and Investment Visa (permanent)

This visa allows you to continue your business in Australia. In order to qualify you need to have a state nomination and to hold one of the visas below:

the provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa or 457 Business (long term) visa or Special category visa.

Australia Business Owner visa

This is a permanent visa and it entitles you to live in and out Australia for a period of 5 years. In order to qualify for this residency visa, you need to hold a provisional business visa and to have been managing your business in Australia for the past two years.

Australia Business Skills Visa

This is a provisional visa that enables you to set up a business or to make an investment and is a good pathway to permanent residence. You may need it if you have a successful business career and have a commitment to invest in business in Australia.

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Tax Obligations for Companies

All taxes in Australia are set by the Australian government. There are several taxes aimed for businesses in Australia – Income tax, Capital Gains Tax, Good and Services Tax. Companies can pay their taxes monthly, annually or quarterly. For more information on the different taxes for businesses in Australia, check here.

Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. For additional information about Australian visas, you can e-mail us at

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