Australia is an attractive location for business owners across many industries. With a strong economy and ample opportunity for business growth, Australia is an excellent country to set up shop when expanding or relocating your business. The excitement of starting a business in Australia is of course accompanied by various risk factors and challenges along the way, but once you have it figured out, the reward will be well worth the hard work!
Keep reading for a breakdown of everything you should know about relocating your business to Australia — from taxation and visa applications to employing workers and harnessing opportunities for business development.
Australia’s business environment
As a major financial centre in the Asia Pacific region with strong economic ties to Europe and America, Australia occupies a unique position for business owners and entrepreneurs. The country presents plenty of room for development in sectors such as construction, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, finance, health services, transport, agriculture, and more. Further to this, Australia has a strong local currency with an open and developed economy.
While the average cost of living is relatively high compared to other countries, Australia has an overall high quality of life. Thanks to the country’s top-rated educational system along with attractive opportunities for international students and workers from abroad, the Australian workforce is diverse, multilingual and highly skilled. In addition to the potential for quality dynamic workforces, Australia offers a low-cost business environment that is empowered by world-class infrastructure, telecommunication and transport systems.
Factors to consider when moving your business to Australia
There is a myriad of things to think about when planning to relocate your business and while executing the move. The cost of relocating a business to Australia will vary greatly depending on the nature of the business, the number of employees, and the amount of assets that need to be relocated or newly purchased. The cost of operating a business in Australia will also depend on factors such as the location and the city’s local cost of living.
One of the first things you will need to do is establish a business presence in Australia, either by setting up a branch or a subsidiary. To decide on the most suitable structure for your business, you need to take into account the costs of establishing a business along with the relevant tax and legal requirements.
When establishing a branch of an existing business, the new Australian branch will function as an extension of the original company’s business operations. While the new branch will not be considered a separate legal entity from the mother company, it will be subject to Australian income taxes. A subsidiary, on the other hand, functions as a separate legal entity from the original company. The process of establishing a subsidiary is often simpler than setting up a new branch, while tax rates are also likely to be lower.
On that note, let’s talk about taxes. Foreign residents in Australia are taxed on their Australian-sourced income, although there are several exceptions to this rule, such as exemptions from paying taxes on interests and dividends. Businesses in Australia are liable to pay income tax on all global taxable income. Corporate income tax in Australia is currently calculated at 30%. Businesses may apply for applicable treaty relief.
When employing workers in Australia, the employer has certain tax obligations for their employees. Contributing to superannuation, taking responsibility for PAYG, and ensuring that all employees are legally allowed to work in Australia are some of the most important factors to consider when hiring, managing and paying workers in Australia. You will also need to keep detailed records of all business operations in line with the Australian Standard Business Reporting (SBR). When it comes to your business’s taxes in a foreign country, play it safe and enlist professional help to make sure you don’t run into any legal and compliance issues.
Applying for business visas in Australia
Visa application processes can be intimidating, but it’s crucial that you get this right! If you are a non-resident of Australia, you need to apply for the correct visa and ensure that you meet the relevant requirements. Multiple visas are available for business purposes. Here is a quick look at the different options for business visas in Australia:
- The Business Innovation visa (subclass 188a): This visa is suitable for applicants up to the age of 55 who are experienced in managing a business. The application requirements include ownership of an established business with a set minimum annual turnover along with a set minimum asset value that can be used to establish a business in Australia.
- The Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132): This visa is suitable for business owners and investors. Experienced business owners can either apply for the visa’s Significant Business History stream or the Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream.
- The overseas business sponsorship visa: This visa allows a foreign parent company to apply to be an overseas business sponsor and nominate a position for sponsorship in the Australian branch of the business. Once approved, the applicant can apply for a Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) to be able to relocate to Australia.
The benefits of relocating your business to Australia
Australia offers favourable conditions for business owners to start a new entrepreneurial venture or relocate an existing business from abroad. Australia has an impressive corporate registration system with the added convenience of online registration options. The application process to register a corporate entity in Australia is quick, uncomplicated, and highly efficient. You can complete the online registration for a legal entity in Australia in as little as ten minutes and have your new business successfully registered in under a week. Further to this, the process of navigating corporate entity registration and incorporating a business into Australia is transparent and free of the red tape that often characterises these activities in other countries.
As indicated above, the Australian government offers a variety of visa options for individuals who want to relocate their businesses to Australia. Since the country is supportive of new business ventures that will advance the Australian economy and create job opportunities, there are several additional advantages for business owners such as taxation benefits, venture capital opportunities, government grants for specified industries, and ease of engaging qualified workers.
Need relocation assistance in Australia? Learn everything you need to know about corporate relocations and discover our variety of relocation services now! Reach out to Claymore Thistle today to schedule a call for relocation to Australia!