When it comes to starting a business, knowing & grabbing the right opportunity is equally important as offering a solution to the buyers. Launching a start-up is easier said than done. One should have a clear idea of how to run a real business. As one of the larger economies in the world with a large middle and upper-middle-class citizenship, Australia has always been an attractive market for business expansions. If you want to start and run a business in Australia as a non-citizen you’ll need a specific work visa. Learn how to get the right visa for you and your obligations.

#1 Get a Visa First

If you are a non-resident in Australia then it is very important to get yourself a VISA first. You need a VISA to work here. Through the Department of Home Affairs, Skillselect, you must submit an expression of interest. There are 2 types of business talent visas. To apply for this visa, you need to be a foreign citizen wanting to set up a new business, or develop an existing business, in Australia. You are only eligible for the business VISA if you follow the following conditions-

  • nominated by a state or territory government agency
  • invited to apply for the visa
  • have the required funding or assets

#2 Set Up Your Business in Australia

The money and time it takes to start and run a business in Australia varies greatly. It depends on the type of business you’d like to run and the supplies and licenses you need. To help you understand what’s involved, have a look at the following resources:

  • Guide to starting a business – provides information about business planning, different business types, and the steps to take to start a business in Australia.
  • Legal essentials for your business – this covers common legal areas you may need to comply with when running a business in Australia.
  • Starting a company – this provides information about company structures, legal obligations, and Australian Company Numbers.
  • Australian Business Licence and Information Service – a service that provides information about the government:
  • licenses
  • permits
  • approvals
  • registrations
  • codes of practice
  • standards and guidelines

#3 Australian Business Number (“ABN”)

The ABN Is a unique number by which the business would be identified by other businesses or the Australian government. It also enables a business to register a domain name ending with .au or .net.au. The registration is a simple process that may be completed online.

#4 Business Name and Intellectual Property

Businesses should then proceed to decide on the name under which they will be trading. This may also be done online via the ASIC website, on which one may search the business names register to determine the desired name’s availability. Registration of available names can then be done at the Business Registration Service site.

As registration of business names does not necessarily grant the owner complete legal protection. Businesses should also consider protecting their trademarks and domain name. 

#5 Licences

Depending on the business’ nature, location and industry, different licenses may be required for its lawful operation. The Australian government’s website is very comprehensive, listing every license and how to obtain them. 

#6 Taxes

The paying of taxes is, of course, a given, and life will be infinitely easier for a business to have a clear system organized right from the business’ inception. The Australian Taxation Office issues a unique Tax File Number (“TFN”) to all individuals and entities in Australia. This is a mandatory requirement. Sole traders and proprietors operating under their own names may use their own TFNs for taxation purposes.

#7 Goods and Services Tax (GST)

GST is payable under different circumstances. The most relevant ones would be where a business operates in the Goods and Services industry and has a turnover of $75,000 or more. If you’re a business importing services or digital goods individually worth less than $1,000 and make more than $75,000 annually.

#8 Grants

Amongst the abundant support provided by the Australian government, one of the benefits of doing business in Oz is the numerous funds and grants. This again depends on the location and nature of the business. For instance, start-ups in Adelaide may be entitled to a $20,000 Small Business Development Fund. New businesses should pay attention to the potentially very useful tools and grants they may be entitled to.

#9 Fringes Benefit Tax (“FBT”)

If the business provides some type of fringe benefits to its employees, such as work cars, payment of expenses like educational fees or health insurance costs, the business will first have to register for FBT.

Special Tip-

Pay as You Go Withholding Tax (“PAYG”)

A business will have to apply for PAYG withholding tax if it is required to withhold tax from payments to workers, or other entities (i.e. employees, directors, etc.) Businesses must first register for PAYG before the first occasion it is required to withhold tax.