Home » Country Profiles
Select a country/region


Local business incentives

The Australian government encourages investments essentially in Research and Development and in new industries creations. The Department of Industry, Science and Tourism (DIST) plays a key role in incentive policies. Premiums are granted to investors who take part into certain activities of Research and Development in high technology sectors. Furthermore, tax allowances have been implemented, which remain very limited. There are some free trades zones in Australia, as the Northern Territory Trade Development Zone, which have been created in order to attract multinational companies.
Invest Australia is the investment promotion agency and may be contacted in order to get an investor guide.

Legal forms of companies

Form Number of partners/shareholders Minimum and/or maximum capital Liability Registration fee Release of financial documents
Sole trader is a sole proprietorship   1 person   No minimum capital.   Liability of the sole entrepreneur is unlimited.   Less than AUD 1,500   No  
Private or Proprietary Company is a Private Limited Company.   Minimum 2 partners. 50 partners maximum.   No minimum capital.   Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed.   About AUD 1,500   No  
Public Company is Public Limited Company.   5 partners minimum.   No minimum capital.   Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed.   About AUD 1,500   Yes  
General Partnership.   20 partners maximum.   No minimum capital.   Liability is unlimited, joint and several.   Less than AUD 1,500   No  
Limited Partnership   20 partners maximum.
Two types of partners: active partners and sleeping partners.  
No minimum capital.   Liability of active partners is unlimited. Liability of sleeping partners is limited to the amount contributed as long as they do not take part into the compnay management.   Less than AUD 1,500   No  

Registration and licensing procedures

Articles of incorporation consist of a "Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association" and must be drawn up in English.
Status must be registered with the Australian Securities Commission (ASC). The company's registered name must be registered with the State or the Territory where the company is set up. The National Register of Trade names issues an Australian Company Number. When the certificate of incorporation is delivered, the company can start its activity. Registration of the company's name is valid throughout the federal territory and the established company can develop its activities in Australia, with no additional formalities.

Legal framework

The Foreign Acquisition and Takeovers Act of 1975 (FATA), revised several times (and notably on July 1st of 1987) regulates foreign investments in Australia.

Foreign exchange control

Currency exchange control has been suspended in 1983. Consequently, free conversion of currencies is carried out as well as the right to transfer profits and capital, provided that all transactions exceeding AUD 5,000 or the equivalent in foreign currencies are declared with the Australian Transactions Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). Finally, the official applicable exchange rate is the ruling transfer rate. {AUSTRAC}

Regulations concerning equity investment

A mixed regime, more flexible since its implementation in 1975, is applicable. However, the acquisition of a local company by a foreign company can be refused by the control authority, in case it is contrary to national interests.  

FDI inflows in Australia

FDI inflows (millions US$) 2000 2001 2002 World rank
Foreign Direct Investments (F.D.I.) 15632   6955   42594   5 / 196
Sources : UNCTAD Database FDI/TNC

All Offers/Products/Company Profiles/Images and other user-posted contents are posted by the user and Tradett shall not be held liable for any such content. However, Tradett respects the intellectual property, copyright, trademark, trade secret or any other personal or proprietary third party rights and expects the same from others. To see our intellectual property policy and for intellectual property rights click here.