Register Your Foreign Branch or Company in Australia
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Foreign Entity Registration Services in Australia

We assist foreign companies seeking to set up operations in Australia with the best market-entry strategies for their business expansion plans. From providing a headstart on what documents should be compiled in their home country (to avoid delay before coming to Australia) to consolidating post-registration requirements to ensure full compliance with the Australian government. 

We can help you get your licencing requirements in order, whether your purpose is to generate income by carrying out your core business activities or set up a non-income generating local office for market research and products/services promotion. 

Our Foreign Company/Branch Office Registration Services

Pre-registration Services

Registration Services

foreign company registration australia

Post-Registration Services

We have the right expertise and tools to help you get started quickly and correctly.

Setup Requirements for Foreign Entity Licencing in Australia

#1: Determine the ideal business structure

There are three types of business entities available to foreign companies seeking to set up operations in Australia:

Branch Office

Those seeking to carry out their business activities in Australia to generate income can set up a branch office, an entity with no separate legal personality from its parent company and where the parent company shall be liable for its debts and obligations.

The parent company must appoint a resident agent who will be authorised to receive, on behalf of the parent company, official communications for the licencing application as well as notices, ongoing compliance requirements, and other communications from relevant government agencies. A branch office is subject to the same regulations as local corporations, and must file annual returns and financial statements to ASIC.

Representative Office

Foreign companies who want to study the Australian market and limit their initial commitment can set up a Representative Office, a non-income generating entity allowed to conduct market research, promote/market the foreign company’s products/services, connect with local suppliers, and engage in other non-income generating activities permissible under Australian laws. Australian representative offices also have no separate legal personality from their parent company and the parent company will incur their debts and obligations.


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#2: Process certified copies of documents for registration

Before coming to Australia, you must ensure all your supporting documents for registration meet the following requirements:

  • If documents are not in English, you must provide a certified English translation
  • The following documents must be notarised (in certified copy) in your company’s country of residence:
    • current Certificate of Incorporation/Registration
    • company constitution
    • memorandum of appointment of the resident agent or power of attorney in favour of the resident agent
    • memorandum stating the powers of certain directors

If a certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation/Registration cannot be presented, ASIC will accept the following in lieu:

  • certificate of good standing;
  • certificate of status;
  • certificate of legal existence; or
  • certificate of current standing.


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#3: Choose the right location for your Registered Office

Foreign companies are required to have a registered address in Australia where all correspondence with government agencies will be delivered. You can either enter into a lease or acquire real estate for your registered business address in Australia. The address must not be a P.O. Box.

For representative offices, you can use our business address as your legal mailing address and we’ll handle all administrative requirements on your behalf.


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Registration Process For Setting Up a Foreign Company in Australia

Unlike Australian-owned companies, registering a foreign company is more complicated. Extra steps have to be taken for identity checks from the government as well as confirming the financial standing of the parent company. 

To expedite the process, we can act as your Resident Agent if you don’t have anyone residing in Australia who can fulfill the role.

Branch Office

Step 1: Check availability and reserve company name

Step 2: Prepare ASIC Form 402 and compile supporting documents:

  • current Certificate of Incorporation/Registration
  • company constitution
  • memorandum of appointment of the resident agent or power of attorney in favour of the resident agent
  • memorandum stating the powers of certain directors

Step 3: To obtain an ARBN, lodge Form 402 and supporting documents with the applicable fee to ASIC

Step 4: Register with ATO and obtain a Tax File Number (TFN)

Step 5: Register for Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Step 6: Register for Pay as You Go (PAYG)

Step 7: Open a Local Bank Account

Step 8: Apply for Licences or Permits (as required)

Representative Office

Not required to register with ASIC, but must register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as an employer if will employ locally.

What to Do Next After Foreign Company Registration in Australia

After your company is registered with ASIC and has obtained an ARBN, you must comply with the following post-registration obligations:

#1: Appoint a Resident Agent

Foreign-owned corporations are required by law to have a resident agent to ensure the company shall fulfill compliance requirements and have a local representative for any breaches or penalties. They are also required to appoint a resident public officer who shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with Australian income tax rules and regulations.

A representative office is not required to appoint a resident agent but must have a resident public officer if it will hire local employees (for income tax-related compliance).

#2: Display company name

The company name must be displayed in your registered office and must be open to the public.

Except for banks and other deposit-taking institutions, the company must display the following:

  • place of origin;
  • at its registered office, the words “registered office”; and
  • notice of the limited liability of its members
#3: Lodge annual returns and financial statements to ASIC

A registered foreign company is required to lodge an annual return to ASIC at least once every calendar year and within one month after the date of the annual general meeting (AGM).

Similarly, they are required to lodge financial statements to ASIC at least once every calendar year. The gap between the filings of each batch of financial statements must not be more than 15 months.  

#4: Notify ASIC of any changes

ASIC must be notified of any change/s to the following:

  • company name (notification must be made within 14 days of the change)

  • company details (i.e., change of registered office; notification must be made within 28 days of the change)

  • company constitution (notification must be made within 28 days of the change)

  • details of directors (i.e., name, address, new appointment/resignation; notification must be made within 28 days of the change)

  • share structure/shareholder details (notification must be made within 28 days of the change)