Without doubt, Australia offers the most wonderful opportunities for those who wish to start a business. Australia embraces those who ‘have a go’ and there is an eagerness to support new ideas and concepts as well as traditional business offerings. The following is a simple guide for those deliberating whether this is indeed a possibility for them.
GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE: the Australian Government offers good advice and information to assist all who want to set up a business in Australia . See www.business.gov.au
VISA: refer to our section on visas but if you do not have a permanent residency visa already then it is worth exploring whether you are eligible for a business visa. If you already have a business with a turnover of $3m as well as $1.5m net business and personal assets, with a business plan to offer Australia, then you may qualify for the Business Talent visa which has the advantage of offering immediate permanent residency. There are a number of different options for those who do not have such a track record but wish to invest in Australia.
VISIT AUSTRALIA : it is so important to do your market research well and to come out to Australia on a fact finding mission. A relocation consultant will be able to set up orientations in different cities with the necessary appointments in place to assist you. The value-add from such a trip is enormous. See our section on relocation consultants.
ACCOUNTANT: it is vital to engage a good accountant who will assist in preparation for your visa application and also give sound advice ongoing. Whether you are intending to bring an existing business model to Australia, buy a business or franchise it is good to have sound advice.
BUSINESS PLAN: it is vitally important to have a good business plan in place. You will need to consult with an accountant and a solicitor.
BUSINESS STRUCTURE: there are a number of structures which you may choose for your business and an accountant can advise on these. You may consider: company, sole trader, partnership or trust.
INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS: these can be enormously helpful even in the planning stage and many are more than willing to offer advice and information.
CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE: Again a valuable source of information for anyone intending to set up or purchase a business in Australia.
STATE BUSINESS ADVISORY: Each state has an advisory body to assist with setting up new business ventures. See http://www.business.gov.au
REGISTERING A BUSINESS NAME: All businesses in Australia need to have a registered name. This is a relatively simple process. See http://australia.gov.au
LICENCES: In order to check what licences are required for each state go to: www.business.gov.au
TAX ADVICE: it is vital to get correct advice so that you are aware of your tax obligations. A good tax advisor can also explain registering for GST and PAYG, Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) , Local rates etc. See our section on TAX and also visit www.ato.gov.au
GETTING FINANCE: As well as approaching banks you might approach a venture capitalist or see if there is any government funding available.
AS A BUSINESS OWNER KNOW YOUR OBLIGATIONS: If you are new to Australia then it is important to understand the workplace laws and obligations of an employer. You will need to understand about employee superannuation, Occupational Health and Safety, Parental Leave, Workers Compensation, Contract Law and IP ownership. A good solicitor can assist with all of these matters.
SETTING UP A WEBSITE: This sometimes takes longer than you might imagine. It is worth discussing ideas and concepts early and also setting up a domain name.
INSURANCE: Again it will pay to take the advice of an expert as there are so many insurances to consider including public liability, professional indemnity, product liability and insurance to support your business and yourself.
RECRUITING: It is important to understand your recruitment options and there are a number of well qualified recruitment experts who can assist you in this regard. See our section on RECRUITMENT.
For any international companies that are expanding into Australia and moving staff to Victoria the Victorian Government offers services which are no-cost and confidential including:
- Itineraries and programs for prospective investors visiting Melbourne
- Confidential site identification
- Streamlining investment approvals involving all levels of government
- Information on demographics and labour force
- Advice on employment and industrial relations issues
- Access to federal government programs
- Provision of industry specific data
- Information on Australian market conditions
- Employee recruitment and training assistance
- Identification of suitable local suppliers
- Introductions to relevant industry contacts
- Assistance with business migration or relocation
Cindy Callander, Business Development Officer, Queensland Government talks about starting a business in Queensland
What are the main advantages of choosing queensland as a place to start a business?
The traditional mainstays of the economy such as construction, resources, agriculture and tourism are always strong but there are other industry sectors which are gaining prominence including research, with over 40 new research facilities being created, and innovation, bio-pharmaceuticals, neuroscience and bio-fuels. Over 300 research projects alone are happening in Queensland at the moment. Queensland’s tax environment is competitive, and the government has adopted an innovative approach to assisting business to create more jobs and improve the economy.
What is it that really attracts newcomers to choose Queensland as a place to be?
As much as anything else it is the lifestyle in the ‘sunshine state’. Queensland has amazing beaches, the outback, national parks, wonderfully vibrant arts and cultural scene .and that amazing climate. Queensland has a competitive tax environment, and an innovative and facilitative approach to working with business to create jobs and grow the economy. Queensland’s cities boast a high standard of living, affordable housing, advanced health services, a world class education system and is considered extremely safe. In fact Queensland is recognised as being one of the most liveable places in the world. The state has an eclectic mix of many different cultures and offers a vibrant arts and cultural scene.
How is it possible to get business and investor migration visas?
Through Australia’s Business Innovation and Investment Program, Queensland nominates business migrants. Expressions of interest (EOI) for business migrants are then considered for those seeking to make an investment which will benefit Queensland’s economy.