Starting a business in Australia

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starting a business in australiaIf your dream is emigrating to and starting a business in Australia, you’ll have to know which visa to apply for and how to set up a business once you’re there.

Here’s the good news – we’re going to share all this information with you. All you have to do is continue reading to find out:

  • The correct visa for starting a business in Australia.
  • How to apply for a visa to start a business.
  • The steps involved in starting a business in Australia.
  • A checklist for starting your business.

The correct visa for starting for starting a business in Australia

Immigration Australia created the Business Innovation and Investment category for migrants who want to set up a business in Australia. The main aim of the category is growing Australia’s economy.

For this purpose, there are three Business Innovation and Investment visas:

  • Business Innovation and Investment (Temporary) visa (subclass 188)
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 188)
  • Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132)

Before we delve into these visas, let’s discuss how to assess your eligibility for a Business Innovation and Investment visa.

Finding out if you qualify for a Business Innovation and Investment visa

Our recommendation is always to start your emigration journey with an immigration assessment.

Ideally, the assessment should be done by a licensed immigration agent. Only MARA registered agents are allowed to give immigration advice.

Our agent is licensed and can do a free initial assessment with you. It’s non-obligatory too.

Now let’s look at all the Business Innovation and Investment visas individually. business innovation and investment visas

The Business Innovation and Investment (Temporary) visa (subclass 188)

This visa is the first step towards qualifying for permanent residency via the Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 888). It allows you to:

  • Set up and run a business in Australia; or
  • Own and run an existing Australian business; or
  • Invest in an Australian state or territory.

You can make applications under one of three streams, each with its own qualifying criteria:

  • Business Innovation stream: You want to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia.
  • Investor stream: You want to make a designated investment of at least AU$1.5 million in an Australian state or territory, and maintain business and investment activity in Australia.
  • Significant Investor stream: You are willing to invest at least AU$5 million into complying investments in Australia, and maintain business and investment activity in Australia.

The Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 188)

This is the permanent residency phase of the Business Innovation and Investment category. This visa allows you to continue:

  • To own and manage a business in Australia; or
  • Business and investment activity in Australia; or
  • Entrepreneurial activity in Australia.

To be eligible for this visa, you must, of course, hold a subclass 188 visa, have state or territory nomination and meet the following criteria under the relevant business stream:

1. The Business Innovation Stream

  • You have owned and managed a business in Australia; and
  • Meet certain business threshold requirements.

2. The Investor stream:

  • You have a designated investment in an Australian state or territory; and
  • Want to continue the business and/or investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.

3. The Significant Investor stream:

  • You have invested at least AU$5 million into complying investments in Australia; and
  • Want to continue the business and/or investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.

The Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132)

The subclass 132 visa is meant for prospective immigrants who want to set up or invest into a business in Australia, and who have state nomination to do so. Successful applicants will receive permanent residency in Australia.

The Business Talent visa has two different streams:

  • Significant Business History stream: For business owners of a high calibre.
  • Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream: For those who have secured venture capital from the Australian Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL).

Applying for a Business Innovation and Investment visa

There are generally three steps in the Business Innovation and Investment application process:

  1. You submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. Provided, of course, you do qualify for a visa.
  2. You wait for a state or territory government to extend an Invitation to Apply.
  3. If you receive an Invitation to Apply, you proceed with your visa application.

Should you choose to let us help you with your visa application, our agents will guide you through this entire process. steps in starting a business

The steps in starting a business in Australia

Australia’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science provides a wealth of information on how to start a business in Australia. We’ve summarized the most important points below and provide links for further reading:

1. Choose a business structure

There are four main business structures commonly used by small businesses in Australia:

  • Sole trader: An individual operating as a sole person legally responsible for all aspects of the business. You can employ people to help you run the business.
  • Company: A company is a legal entity separate from its shareholders.
  • Partnership: An association of people or entities running a business together, but not as a company.
  • Trust: An entity that holds property or income for the benefit of others.

You’ll choose the structure that suits your needs best, but it’s important to make the right choice. Your business structure can determine different aspects of the business. For instance, such as the licenses you require and how much tax you pay.

Please note: You’ll cover this step in your application, as part of your business plan.

Continue reading about company structures.

2. Register for an Australian Business Number (ABN)

Your Australian Business Number is a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business to the Australian government and community.

It’s not every business that needs an ABN though. You can find out more about who does need an ABN here.

3. Register your business name and trademark

Chances are you already know that a business name is a title under which your business will trade. When you register your business name in Australia, it will be connected to your ABN.

Should you want to register your business as a trademark, you can also do it at this stage. Trademarks are protected in all Australian states and territories for an initial period of 10 years. After 10 years, you can renew your registration.

Continue reading about registering your business name and trademark.

4. Register a website name

This is not a compulsory step, but in today’s digital world, you want to seriously consider a website for your business.
A website will give your business an online identity, which can help customers find your business.

Continue reading about registering a domain.

5. Determine the taxes you have to register for

The taxes you must register for will depend on the type of business you’re starting. Some taxes apply to all businesses, while other taxes are compulsory depending on the size of your business. Other taxes are optional but could make life easier.

Continue reading about taxes.

6. Business and company registration

You must understand your legal requirements when starting a business in Australia. For instance, understand which licences and permits are necessary to run your business.

Once you know your legal responsibilities, you must start taking steps to comply with all the applicable requirements.

Continue reading about business and company registration.

7. Find a business premise

Whether you choose to buy or rent a business premise, ensure you are crystal clear about the agreement you are entering into. It would be best to get advice from accountants, solicitors and other professionals who are able to guide you.

Continue reading about buying or leasing premises.

8. Arrange business insurance

Chat with insurance companies and brokers to discuss the best solutions for your business. It’s important to shop around and to understand what your chosen insurance policy cover.

Continue reading about arranging business insurance.starting a business checklist

Your checklist for starting a business in Australia

Now that we’ve covered everything you should be aware, let’s draw up a simple checklist you can use to ensure you’ve covered all your bases:

  1. Get assessed to see if you qualify for a Business and Investment visa.
  2. Work with your licensed immigration agent to submit your visa application.
  3. Receive your visa.
  4. Choose a business structure. Remember – this step would have been part of your visa application.
  5. Register an Australian Business Number (ABN).
  6. Register your business name and trademark.
  7. Register a website name.
  8. Determine the taxes you have to register for.
  9. Business and company registration.
  10. Find a business premise.
  11. Arrange business insurance.

Summary

Your first task is getting assessed, to see if you qualify for one of Australia’s business visas. If the outcome is positive, you can proceed with your visa application.

To start your business, follow the guidelines of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. To ensure that you tick all the to-dos off your list, keep our handy checklist by your side.

Ready to get assessed? Simply book your free initial assessment right now. One of our consultants will be in touch within the hour, enabling you to take the first step in hopefully starting a business in Australia.

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Get your FREE initial assessment here

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