Australia is world-renowned for its stable political climate and an unprecedented record of positive economic growth, spanning nearly 3 decades. The country holds a clutch of key international trade agreements, adding value to its business environment by providing strong export channels to traders.
The South Pacific state-continent is highly regarded for its agribusiness, mining, and financial business opportunities. Companies operating in the country, or considering their expansion into this powerful market, also have access to a highly skilled and educated workforce.
When evaluating your options to expand and form a company in Australia, it’s important to understand your statutory obligations, as well as the environmental factors of your new market. Recruiting, training, motivating and retaining collaborators is essential and play a vital role in companies failure, stagnation or success (see our last article about it). No matter your ecosystem, Human Resources is undeniably a critical issue for enterprises.
Company formation in Australia
Australia’s ease of doing business means that company formation processes are relatively straightforward. Though it’s still a good idea to seek legal support, starting your commercial venture in Australia can be broken down into the following basic steps:
- Choose the legal entity (business structure) that best suits your business
- Appoint the officeholders for your company: by Australian commercial law, you need at least 3 officeholders
- Register your company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
- Get your Australian Business Number, and (optional) your Australian Company Number. This is your local tax identification number
- Open your corporate bank account.
This process, if followed in the right order and with the right documentation, can take around 3 weeks to complete. Thanks to Australia’s open, clear registration processes, you can be operating in the country in under a month.
5 tips for new players
When opening a business in Australia, there are key considerations that must be taken to ensure your company gets the best possible start.
Do your research
Australia boasts a highly productive, successful and innovative economy. Nevertheless, you’ll need to exercise same amount of caution and careful planning as with any other expansion.
Are you planning a move into one of the country’s well-established industries, or offering a new, innovative product or service to its consumers? Will you need special licensing for imports or export activity in Australia?
Make sure your market entry strategy is comprehensive, and you can identify your niche. Research your prospects for success and competitors. If there are any potential barriers for your business, seek to understand them and how you can approach them to get the best possible outcome.
Avoid delay: provide the right documentation to the right people
Once you’ve made the decision to incorporate or form a company in Australia, you’ll need to know which documents to provide, which authorities you need to give them to, and when. When registering your business, your company constitution, articles of incorporation and details and consent of your officeholders and shareholders are key pieces of information that the ASIC will ask for.
The Australian Taxation Office handles company and individual tax registration. Every company needs to obtain its unique tax file number. Depending on the type of legal entity structure you’ve chosen, you may need to make further tax registrations, such as goods and services, fringe benefits, and fuel tax.
Check registered trademarks and patents in Australia
Don’t wait until you’ve registered your company and are ready to start operations to confirm that your company name, unique signs or logos, or business ideas or inventions are available.
Check IP Australia for all registered patents, trademarks, designs, and plant breeding rights in the country.
This is a crucial step to avoid any complications further down the line. If your product, process, or design is similar to another company, and they have registered that element of their business under local intellectual property regulations, they can take legal action against you.
If your idea, invention and/or design is available, consider registering for your own patents and trademarks. This ensures that your business is empowered to protect your intellectual property against other parties attempting to use it for their own commercial gain. This, in turn, protects the credibility of your brand, which is vital for new expansion activities.
Outsource local legal, accounting, and human resource support
It’s difficult to stay on top of everything during an expansion; you have legal, financial, employment and other legislative requirements to meet, all in a short period of time. Beyond that, there’s clear ongoing regulatory requirements that you’re expected to comply with. Foreign investors and entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable during this time if commercial and related laws in their home country differ greatly from those in Australia.
Ease the demands on yourself and your business during this time by outsourcing support for your legal, accounting, and human resource needs. Australia has a world-class financial services sector, making it easy for new businesses to access expert accounting services.
When registering a business, you’ll need to engage with a local legal representative who can give correct, timely advice on the process and what’s required of you. Legal representatives can act on behalf of your company, in your best interests. They’ll ensure your business complies with all relevant commercial and corporate laws.
Please get in touch with our Consulting team to see how we can help you to be represented in Australia.
Finally, if you’re planning to employ locals, or bring foreign workers into the country, it’s highly recommended that you seek the support of a Professional Employment Organization, recruitment agency, and/or visa processing specialist. Get the help you need to find the right people who can support your business and your vision for your Australian expansion. By outsourcing your human resource needs, you can also trust that you’re compliant with local employment law, avoiding complications with local authorities or new staff members.
Please get in touch with our Talent Acquisition team to see how we can help your business secure the best talent.
Understand business etiquette in Australia
Depending on where you’re moving from, Australian business etiquette can present some very different norms that you’ll need to become accustomed to quickly. Understanding typical behaviours in the Australian workforce will help you integrate more smoothly and quickly into your new commercial environment. Australian work environments are typically egalitarian between staff and their managers, with business casual dress codes and direct methods of communication. People typically greet each other with handshakes, omitting the European or Latin American air-kiss on the cheek.
You’ll encounter generally pragmatic and forward-thinking attitudes when it comes to developing business relationships; make sure your pitches and selling points are backed up with facts and figures. Many in Australia – unlike some other parts of the world – choose to keep their work and personal lives separate, so don’t interpret it as an affront if people avoid asking you personal questions.
Demonstrating familiarity with the local way of doing business is a positive sign for potential partners and clients; it shows you’re willing to integrate and can make you more relatable.
Take the plunge
There may never be the ‘perfect’ time to expand into a new market, as there’s always a certain level of risk involved. But Australia offers prime commercial conditions to support and nurture new business opportunities.
Take deliberate, calculated steps during your market entry, company formation and business development phases. With the right frame of mind and a well-developed strategy, you can make the most of Australia’s successful industries and inviting business climate.
Australiance helps you from the beginning until the growth. Our vision is to enable international companies and professionals to realise their potential in Australia. Our dedicated team take pride in doing their best every day to support your business’ growth with our end-to-end solution for international corporates & startups:
Thank you Biz Latin Hub for this article.