Doing Business in Australia

Australia, comprised of six states and two mainland territories, boasts one of the best lifestyles in the world with high quality social systems for its multicultural population of over 23 million people. Australia is rich in mineral resources such as coal, gold, copper, iron ore and natural gas, with a large mining sector in the West and a financial and economic hub predominantly located on the East coast. Australia has a competitive market driven economy with consistent economic growth, low inflation and a highly skilled professional workforce making it the ideal gateway for business in the Asia Pacific region.

The Australian legal system is a combination of common law and statute based on the English legal system with a Constitution that establishes a separation of power between the arms of Government. The Federal, State and Territory Governments work together to ensure regulatory frameworks are in line with developments in the financial markets, domestically and internationally. The rule of law is paramount and foreign investment is promoted through the government body ‘Austrade’ which provides export and investment services. Whilst the corporate income tax rate is 30%, Australia has over 40 double taxation treaties, and Free Trade Agreements promoting bilateral trade with the USA and certain Asian countries with negotiations underway with the E.U. and GCC. The International Financial Reporting Standards are mandated by the Australian Accounting Standards Board and the financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June each year. All companies are required to maintain accounting records and certain companies must lodge audited annual financial reports with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (subject to some exceptions). The Reserve Bank of Australia is the central bank overseeing the Australian financial system with domestic and overseas banks providing a wide range of products and services with almost no foreign exchange controls.

Foreign investment is welcome in Australia and there are many incentives to drive foreign investment, whether direct (Joint Ventures or Mergers & Acquisitions with existing Australian corporations or in the natural resources sector) or indirect (establishment of your own legal entity: private, public or a branch). It is worth noting that the Foreign Investment Review Board examines any direct investment proposals and issues its recommendations to the Government accordingly. Company incorporations are a streamlined process and are completed in a timely manner with public companies requiring extra regulatory approvals from the Australian Securities Exchange. Companies can sponsor staff to move to Australia on a temporary work visa or for permanent residence if the position of the applicant is highly skilled.

Contact us for a no obligation discussion on how Australia can provide you with the opportunities you need to help you and your business grow.