In an increasingly globalized world, it has become easier to start a business in another country. For example, the Australian government actively encourages foreign citizens to start business in Australia and contribute to the country’s economy. If you are considering starting a business in Australia, you should know which visas you need, as well as the legal and requirements you are expected to meet.
What Kind of Visas Are Available?
The Australian government is committed to diversifying business expertise and encouraging entrepreneurial talent. Therefore, the Business Innovation and Investment Program aims to provide visas to eligible foreign citizens who want to start a business in Australia. These visas are:
- Business Talent (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 132);
- Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188);.
- Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 888);
There are also specific visas for foreign citizens who want to set up businesses in regional, rural or low-growth areas of Australia. These visas operate in tandem with various state and territory-based economic initiatives.
Starting a Business in Australia
If you are a foreign citizen and have successfully obtained an Australian visa, you need to consider the legal and regulatory issues associated with starting and operating a business in Australia. Specifically, you should consider:
- an appropriate business structure;
- where your business premises will be located in Australia;
- how you can protect your business’ intellectual property; and
- how you can obtain the necessary licences.
You should seek legal advice to help you with the legal and regulatory steps involved in the process. For example, you may need assistance choosing a company structure, securing a purchase or lease when looking for premises or obtaining local development approval.
You should also be aware of your legal obligations regarding:
- how much tax you need to pay;
- whether you want to employ workers;
- how you will ensure the health and safety of your workers;
- how you will meet the reporting and disclosure requirements set by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC);
- maintain the privacy of your employees and confidential business information; and
- comply with consumer law.
Australia’s laws ensure safety for businesses
Both creditors and debtors in Australia have ample recourse to the law for assistance.Creditors have a variety of legal remedies available to force the payment of money owed to them.
Debtors are protected by insolvency law from being driven to desperation by business failure or unemployment. And the comprehensive social welfare system guarantees that everyone is safe from economic hardship.
Public policy and social welfare: Benefiting both employers and employees
Australia at both federal and state level has over the past century has implemented a wide range of social welfare policies which are of great benefit both to investors and workers. Employers need not provide many benefits which are part of the employment package elsewhere:
- Universal free education till matriculation,
- universal public medical insurance,
- the minimum wage,
- workers’ compensation,
- occupational health and safety regulations,
- occupiers’ liability and superannuation (mandatory pension funds for the retirement years which can, in fact, be withdrawn in a lump sum by those who emigrate to another country).
They are also a considerable benefit to employers in Australia as compared with countries where it is companies which must provide these benefits for their workers – a particular cost of doing business in the USA.
A high quality of public security, excellent law enforcement and an incorruptible and efficient judicial system mean that employers are spared the cost of private security arrangements.
State and federal governments in Australia pour enormous amounts of money into infrastructure: roads, highways, trains, bridges, ferries, hospitals, schools, universities, dams and reservoirs and power supply.
There are several important results for residents of Australia. Notably,
1. Healthcare is excellent and universal; tapwater is clean and drinkable; electricity and gas supply is uninterrupted.
2. In lean economic times the ready resort to additional investment in infrastructure takes up any shortfall in private sector jobs.