The process of setting up an Australian subsidiary or a new entity in Australia can be stressful and confusing for many foreign investors. We have listed below eight key points to consider when establishing a new entity in Australia.
1. Company registration
Foreign companies may carry on business in Australia through an Australian branch (by registering the foreign company through the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)) or subsidiary (by registering a new company through ASIC). The procedure to register an Australian branch of a foreign company is slightly more onerous than setting up a new subsidiary company in Australia, and in practice most foreign companies elect to establish a new company in Australia as a subsidiary. This article focuses at a high level on the key considerations facing Australian subsidiaries of foreign companies.
The procedure for setting up a limited liability company, either a proprietary or non-listed public company, is straight forward, with the relevant forms required to be lodged with the ASIC.
Australian companies must have a registered office to receive ASIC correspondence and to liaise with ASIC. Also, there needs to be (at least) one director and a secretary who ordinarily resides in Australia (a secretary is mandatory for a public company and usual, but not compulsory, for a proprietary company).