How to register a company in Australia
If you want to register a company yourself, there are 8 steps (see 1 below).
If not, we can do it for you (see 2 below)
1. Checklist for company registration and ABN
- Do an ASIC name search to check if the name you want is available – ASIC search – and that there is no similar name which could cause problems for you. If there is, legal action could be taken to stop you using your name, even after you have registered it!
- Arrange an address for the registered office and principal place of business of the company (it must be a street address, not just a post office box) and get the occupier to sign a consent form.
- If you are not an Australian resident, find and appoint someone who “ordinarily resides in Australia” to be your resident director. If you don't have anyone who is prepared to take the risk, or if you want a professional, we can help – contact us.
- Prepare the preliminary documentation which must be signed before a company can be registered – consents of directors and members.
- Be very careful when completing the application for registration because even a minor typing error (e.g. in the name of the company) can cost more to rectify than the cost to register a company!
- After the company is registered, it is necessary to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) from the Australian Tax Office. If you do not have a personal Australian Tax File Number (TFN), you will need to appoint an Australian public officer who does.
- It can take up to 3 months to obtain an ABN for a company if even one director or shareholder is a non-resident of Australia. We can help you get around this problem if you need to start business more quickly.
- Most companies apply for a TFN and GST registration at the same time as the ABN.
P.S. If you need to set up a bank account, most banks will require a non-resident director and any account signatory to come to Australia to be identified at a branch of the bank, although one bank allows ID verification to be done without coming to Australia – to find out which bank, contact us.
2. Leave it to us
We charge a nominal fee to incorporate and register a company for you. This includes free advice about company registration and related issues.
For example, we will check to make sure there is no similar business or company name which could cause problems for you and, if there is, advise you how to deal with it.
We will also explain what else needs to be done to protect the name you have chosen (registration is not enough).
Even if you do not use our services, this website contains a lot of valuable information about company registration and doing business in Australia e.g. Starting a business.