Starting a business in Australia : Advice for prospective migrants

Starting a business in Australia: This is how you do it

/ / Business visas, Our latest posts

starting a business in australiaDreaming of starting a business in Australia? But you don’t know where to start?

Worry now more! Today you’ll find out what your visa options are to legally open a business in Australia and how to set up your business.

You’ll need a business visa

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:

1. 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.

2. 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:

2.1. The Business Innovation Stream

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

2.2. 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.

2.3. 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.

3. 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.

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, 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. Company registration

If you’ve decided a company structure is right for your business, you’ll need to register it as a company. A company has different legal, financial and record keeping responsibilities compared to other business structures, so it’s important you know what’s involved.

Continue reading about 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 choosing 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.

Your checklist for starting your business

Now that we’ve shared the information you have to know, here’s a 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 in starting a business in Australia is seeing 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.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter

You'll get immigration advice and be the first to know about visa changes.

Return to our blog

TOP