Registering a company in Australia: Company formation steps, online information on how to register and form a company in Australia. Setting up a business, starting a corporation in Sydney, Melbourne. Limited company / business registration documents required and the office/ website where to go.
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Registering a Company in Australia

The following text gives a concise summary of the bureaucratic and legal obstacles an entrepreneur mu needs to overcome when incorporating and registering a new company / firm in Australia. It looks at the steps involved in setting up a commercial or industrial company / firm with a maximum of 50 employees and start-up capital of ten times the economy's per-capita gross national income (GNI).

1. Fill in and lodge ASIC Form 201 “Application for Registration as an Australian Company"; Get a certificate of incorporation and an Australian company number (ACN)
The applicant needs to fill in and send an ASIC Form 201 ("Application for Registration as an Australian Company") and pay the prescribed charge of AUD 400, in order to register a Pty Ltd company. Anybody who is appointed as a secretary or director of the company / firm needs to have 1st provided written consent to that appointment. Also, every company shareholder is required to give consent to be a shareholder. At least one director (and, if the company has appointed secretaries, at least one secretary) needs to ordinarily live in Australia. The company's / firm's registered office needs to have an Australian address. The company can put in place its own constitution or use the Replaceable Rules in the Corporations Act 2001. The applicant needs to check the availability of the intended company / firm name, before lodging the registration application. If no company / firm name is provided, they will be known only by their Australian Company Number ("ACN").

2. Register for ABN with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
As of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and a new tax system (Goods and Services Tax) act of 1999, this process needs to be completed. The company / firm is required to comply with various taxation prerequisites, dependent on their circumstances and location:

  • The company / firm is required to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) by getting an eleven digit Australian Business Number (ABN), if the yearly business turnover is AUD$ 75,000 or more. The yearly company turnover is representative of its gross business income (not profit). Companies / firms with less yearly turnover can also decide to register for the Goods and Services Tax. An electronic application for an ABN may be uploaded at the Business Entry Point, In other cases, the application can be sent be by hard copy to the (ATO). The applicant will be given an ABN once the internet session finishes, if the electronic application is a success. In addition, the ATO will mail the ABN within twenty-eight days of receiving the electronic submission.
  • The company is required to deduct tax from employee wages, give payment summaries, provide employee superannuation contributions, and report and provide payments to the ATO. Additionally, companies can register for Pay As You Go (PAYG) at the following address In other instances, they can register with the ATO via mail or telephone or via a tax agent. Also, state and territory taxes (e.g., stamp duty, payroll tax, and land tax) can be set, with various prerequisites depending on company /firm location.
  • Companies / firms are required to register for an ABN if they have yearly turnover of AUD$ 75,000 or more. If companies don't comply with this requirement, it will result in GST being levied on all company sales as of the required date of registration. This will apply even if the sale price of any goods or services has not been grossed up to incorporate tax. In addition, the company can be charged penalties and interest fees for any payments that are overdue.
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