Company Registration Services in Australia
We provide Company Registration services to local and foreign investors seeking to set up a company in Australia. We offer end-to-end assistance to businesses of all sizes, from startups to multinational corporations, on the most suitable options to navigate regulatory compliance so they can register their new Australian company effectively and with ease.
Our Australian Company Registration Services
We have the right expertise and tools to help you get started quickly and correctly.
Setup Requirements for Company Registration in Australia
Generally, there are three options for company formation in Australia:
- Establishing an Australian company. A new corporation recognised under Australian laws. It is allowed to hold property and sue or be sued under local laws. There are two main types that you can choose from: 1) private (proprietary) and 2) public. The most common type of company in Australia is the proprietary company (or Pty Ltd), a legal entity with limited liability, at least 1 resident director, and a wide range of options for raising capital.
- Registering as a foreign corporation (“branch”). Foreign entities seeking to carry out their business activities in Australia can register a branch office with ASIC. The foreign corporation doesn’t have a separate legal entity from its parent company and all its liabilities will be incurred by the parent company abroad.
- Acquiring an Australian company. An alternative to establishing a new company, this allows investors to purchase all of the shares in a shelf company (a company that has neither traded nor has some trading history) from a solicitor, accountant, or professional services provider.
Not sure which structure is the most ideal for your business?
You must ensure your company name of choice is available (companies registered with ASIC must be unique) and acceptable under Australia’s corporate rules and regulations. It must be distinct, not offensive, and not using restricted terms without government approval (i.e., trust, university, chartered, etc.). It must also be able to show the company’s legal status (i.e., Pty [Proprietary], Ltd [Limited], and NL [No Liability]).
NOTE: You must reserve your company name with ASIC by lodging an application and paying the prescribed fee (otherwise the Australian Company Number (ACN) will default as the company name).
Save time and avoid your chosen company name from being denied.
You need to decide how your company will be governed:
- through replaceable rules under the Commonwealth Corporations Act 2001;
- your own drafted company constitution and by-laws; or
- a combination of the two.
The replaceable rules will automatically apply to your company if it doesn’t have a drafted constitution. Companies where the sole director also acts as the sole shareholder are not eligible. Though replaceable rules are ideal during the founding stage of your company, they do not offer the flexibility and customisability that company constitutions have.
If you want more control over how to govern and manage your business, a company constitution is more suitable for you. Unlike replaceable rules, a company constitution will not automatically apply to your company. You need to draft your own company constitution and explicitly state that it will override the replaceable rules. You can amend your company constitution any time by passing a special resolution.
If you want to combine some sections from the replaceable rules with your company constitution, you are allowed to do so but must state the specific replaceable rules you want to override.
Confused about which one is better suited for your business needs?
You must decide who will act as the shareholders (otherwise known as members) and directors of your company. Most startups opt for a simple shareholder structure of Ordinary Shares only, before exploring other shareholder classes with different rights and entitlements to income/capital.
All directors must be at least 18 years of age and you need to have at least one director who is living in Australia. As such, all of them are required by law to apply for a director identification number (director ID).
Need to make sure you’re fully compliant when choosing your shareholders and directors?
After choosing your shareholders, you need to decide the share structure:
- how many shares each of the shareholders will own; and
- what class of shares they will each own.
A company must issue at least one share to one shareholder. The class of shares will determine the rights and restrictions attached to them. As a sample, some share classes give you the right to vote in company decisions or give you the right to receive dividends or capital distributions. The most common type is “Ordinary Shares”, and there are no special rights attached to them. Other shares can be categorised as “A class shares” or “B class shares”.
Need professional advice when allocating your company shares?
You need to have a registered office address in Australia where ASIC will send you all the official communications for registration, ongoing compliance, notices, and other communications that ASIC will see fit to need your acknowledgement or immediate action. The address can be in any state in Australia but must not be a P.O. Box. When you submit your application, you must nominate a state/territory of registration.
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Registration Process for Setting Up a Company in Australia
A unique 9-digit number issued by ASIC (Australia’s corporate regulator) to companies registered under the Corporations Act 2001 as an identifier. The ACN will be used to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN). To be eligible for registration, you need to provide the following: 1) framework of the company (officeholders and shareholders); 2) your Registered Office address (or principal place of business, for receipt of official documents and notices); 3) an email address; and 4) details of the resident director if foreign investor.
A unique 11-digit number that identifies your business and enables you to conduct business in Australia, trade and execute supplier contracts, employ staff, and deal with government agencies.
A TFN is required to lodge tax filings for your business. Every trading entity needs a TFN. You can apply for a TFN when applying for an ABN.
Only applicable if your business has a turnover of AU$75,000 or higher per annum. If yes, you need to register for GST within 21 days after getting your ABN.
PAYG is a system of withholding income tax from an employee or contractor’s salary in advance throughout the year. If you want to employ local staff, engage the services of local contractors, or pay interest to an overseas affiliate, you must first register for PAYG withholding before making a payment that is subject to withholding.
After successfully registering your business name, you can start registering your website domain name. If you want to get a “.com.au” subdomain, an ABN/ACN is required.
You can only open a local bank account if you have already completed the registration process with ASIC and obtained an ABN/ACN, registered company name, and Registered Office. Subject to the bank’s KYC requirements, you might need to be in Australia to complete the bank account opening process.
If your chosen line of business/industry/location requires you to obtain licences or permits to legally operate, you need to apply for such licences/permits. We can help you apply for the right licences/permits for your business in the relevant state/territory or at the federal level.
Next Steps After Registering a Company in Australia
After your company is successfully registered, you need to keep the following in mind:
- Your company name must be on display wherever you conduct business, and it must be open to the public
- Your company’s ACN/ABN must be displayed on any document that you publish
- You need to make sure your company details are updated at all times, which can be done online or through a local agent
If your application was not successful, you will receive a reference number from ASIC stating that the application was not successful, with details on the specific information that needs to be filled out or accomplished when you lodge your re-application. After your submission of the requested information, it may take up to 28 days for the receipt of an approval or denial from ASIC.