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Hi there,

We're an established UK business which is looking to set up a Sydney office. We are not looking to transfer the owners to gain a visa or similar, simply to set up a Pty Ltd, open an office and hire Australian citizens.

Are there any restrictions to doing this that you may be aware of in terms of minimum capital investment or is it viewed in the same way as an Australian citizen starting a business?

Additionally, one of our key team members has recently been accepted for a working holiday visa. Provided we are an incorporated entity within Australia, is there anything stopping us from employing this team member for the 6 month time frame permitted by the visa when they get to Australia?

Any assistance would be gratefully appreciated.

R
 

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Hi R:

I think it's a fairly complex question, and while I think we can help in some ways I think you need to get legal advice on the setup of a business in AU by a foreign national.

1. You will be dealing a few layers of government (State at the very least, also may need to deal with Federal and Local Council levels depending on the regulations surrounding your type of business)
2. Find out if you get advantages by being a regional headquarters.
3. Can't comment on minimum levels of investment but I think it's AU$500k for regional areas and AU$750k for non-regional area (i.e. Capital cities).
4. If the ownership is all foreign you may be subject to having a percentage of ownership in Australia (i.e. an AU PR or Citizen principal). Find out more by getting in touch with FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board).

Just the list above gives an idea that this isn't an easy question at all, and I think legal counsel is called for in this kind of case.

Good luck :)


Hi there,

We're an established UK business which is looking to set up a Sydney office. We are not looking to transfer the owners to gain a visa or similar, simply to set up a Pty Ltd, open an office and hire Australian citizens.

Are there any restrictions to doing this that you may be aware of in terms of minimum capital investment or is it viewed in the same way as an Australian citizen starting a business?

Additionally, one of our key team members has recently been accepted for a working holiday visa. Provided we are an incorporated entity within Australia, is there anything stopping us from employing this team member for the 6 month time frame permitted by the visa when they get to Australia?

Any assistance would be gratefully appreciated.

R
 

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Registered
Joined
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201 Posts
Hi there,

We're an established UK business which is looking to set up a Sydney office. We are not looking to transfer the owners to gain a visa or similar, simply to set up a Pty Ltd, open an office and hire Australian citizens.

Are there any restrictions to doing this that you may be aware of in terms of minimum capital investment or is it viewed in the same way as an Australian citizen starting a business?

Additionally, one of our key team members has recently been accepted for a working holiday visa. Provided we are an incorporated entity within Australia, is there anything stopping us from employing this team member for the 6 month time frame permitted by the visa when they get to Australia?

Any assistance would be gratefully appreciated.

R
You might have a problem with this part of the rules:
A proprietary company must have at least one director, but need not have a secretary. The director and secretary (if any), must ordinarily reside in Australia.
Britz in Oz: Starting a Business in Australia
When I used to work in an Accountants office, we did have some facilities to assist overseas companies, where a Resident Director could be provided, but I think the rules have change a bit since then, placing more liability on Directors, effectively forcing them to be more involved in ensuring the company does not break any laws that may leave them open to personal liability.

Short of having someone you know and trust actually living in Australia, you will need to discuss this with an expert.
 
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