Starting a Business in


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Australia. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with between 10 and 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Australia to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Complete and lodge ASIC Form 201 “Application for Registration as an Australian Company"; Obtain a certificate of incorporation and an Australian company number (ACN)

    Agency: Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

    To register a Pty Ltd company, the applicant must complete and submit an ASIC Form 201 (""Application for Registration as an Australian Company"") and pay the prescribed fee of AUD 457.

    Any person to be appointed as a director or secretary of the company must have consented in writing to that appointment. Similarly, each shareholder of the company must have consented to become a shareholder.
    At least 1 director (and, if the company has appointed secretaries, at least 1 secretary) must ordinarily reside in Australia. The registered office of the company must be an address in Australia.

    The company may adopt its own constitution or rely upon the Replaceable Rules in the Corporations Act 2001.

    Prior to lodging the application for registration, the applicant should confirm the availability of the proposed company name. If no name is specified, the company will simply be referred to by its Australian Company Number (""ACN"").

    Upon incorporation, ASIC will issue to the company a certificate of incorporation, which evidenced that the company has been incorporated on and from the date of issue.

    1 day AUD 463

    Register for ABN with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

    Agency: Australian Taxation Office

    This procedure is required under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act of 1999.

    Depending on the company's circumstances and location, it must comply with different taxation requirements:

    - If the annual company turnover is AUD$75,000 or more, the company must register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) by obtaining an 11-digit Australian Business Number (ABN). The annual company turnover represents its gross business income (not its profit). Companies with lower annual turnover may also choose to register for the Goods and Services Tax.

    - The application to ABN can be submitted electronically at the Business Entry Point, www.abr.gov.au. If the electronic submission is successful, the applicant will be provided with an ABN at the end of the Internet session. Alternatively, a hard copy application may be submitted to the ATO. The ATO will then mail the ABN within 28 days of receiving the application.

    -The company must deduct taxes from employee pay, provide payment summaries, contribute to employee superannuation and report and issue payments to the ATO. Companies may also register for Pay As You Go (PAYG) at www.abr.gov.au. Otherwise, they may register with the ATO by postal mail or phone or through a tax agent. State and territory taxes (e.g., stamp duty, payroll tax, and land tax) may also be imposed, with requirements differing according to company location.

    - Companies with annual turnover of AUD$75,000 or more must register for an ABN. Failure to do so will result in GST being levied on all company sales since the required date of registration even if the sale price of any goods or services has not been grossed up to include the tax. Furthermore, the company may incur penalties and interest charges for any overdue payments.

    - Further information in connection with ABN, GST and PAYG registration may be found on the ATO website (www.ato.gov.au).

    Less than one day (online procedure) no charge

    Sign up for Worker Compensation Insurance at an insurance agency

    Agency: Workers Compensation Insurance

    The Workers Compensation Act of 1987 and the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act of 1998 state that the worker compensation insurance is a compulsory requirement for employers in Australia. The premium rate is based on description of the company’s main business.

    1 day no charge