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Starting a Business in Australia

Proprietary Company (Pty Ltd)

Procedure 1: Complete and lodge ASIC Form 201 “Application for Registration as an Australian Company"; Obtain a certificate of incorporation and an Australian company number (ACN)

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 A$400.

Any person to be appointed as a director or secretary of the company must have first consented in writing to that appointment. Similarly, each shareholder of the company must have consented to become a shareholder.

At least one director (and, if the company has appointed secretaries, at least one 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").

Procedure 2: Register for ABN with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

This procedure is required under the Income Tax Assesment Act 1936 and a new tax system (Goods and Services Tax) act of 1999.

Depending on the company circumstances and location, it must comply with different taxation requirements.

If the annual company turnover is A$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. An application for an ABN can be submitted electronically at the Business Entry Point ( Otherwise, the application may be submitted by hard copy to the (ATO). If electronic submission is successful, the applicant will be provided with an ABN at the end of the Internet session. The ATO will also mail the ABN within 28 days of receipt of the application.

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