How to register a company in Australia
This is what you need to do if you want to register a business in Australia (which means you need to start a company) yourself. Alternatively, we can do it for you (see 2 below).
1. Checklist to register a company in Australia
- Do an ASIC name search to check if the name you want is available – ASIC search – and that there is no similar name which could cause problems for you. If there is, legal action could be taken to stop you using your name, even after you have registered it!
- Arrange an address for the registered office and principal place of business of the company (it must be a street address, not just a post office box) and get the occupier to sign a consent form.
- If you are not an Australian resident, find and appoint someone who “ordinarily resides in Australia” to be your resident director. If you don’t have anyone who is prepared to take the risk, or if you want a professional, we can help – contact us.
- Prepare the preliminary documentation which must be signed before a company can be registered – consents of directors and members.
- Be very careful when completing the application for registration because even a minor typing error (e.g. in the name of the company) can cost more to rectify than the cost to register a company!
- After the company is registered, it is necessary to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) from the Australian Tax Office. If you do not have a personal Australian Tax File Number (TFN), you will need to appoint an Australian public officer who does.
- It can take up to 3 months to obtain an ABN for a company if even one director or shareholder is a non-resident of Australia. We can help you get around this problem if you need to start business more quickly.
- Most companies apply for a TFN and GST registration at the same time as the ABN.
P.S. You will need to set up a bank account in Australia for taxation reasons, so make sure that the bank you choose use does not require you to come to Australia to be identified at a branch of the bank. We can handle this (setting up a bank account) for you.
2. Leave it to us
We charge a nominal fee to incorporate and register a company for you. This includes free advice about how to register a business and related issues.
For example, we will check to make sure there is no similar business or company name which could cause problems for you and, if there is, advise you how to deal with it.
Even if you do not use our services, this website contains a lot of valuable information about company registration and doing business in Australia e.g. Starting a business.