Sleek's Step-by-Step Guide for Setting up a Company in Australia from Overseas

Decide on your requirements
To start a business in Australia, the minimum requirements are:

– At least one local resident director
– A locally registered business address in Australia
– At least one shareholder (any nationality, individual or corporate)
– At least $1 AUD capital

Sleek Fast-Track Process
To help our international clients secure their company’s Australian Business Number (ABN) in the quickest way possible, we have developed a fast-track company registration process.

Via our Sleek fast-track process, a new company can be set up and the company’s ABN & Tax File Number can be obtained within 3 working days.

We recommend this option when there is expected to be one or more overseas directors and/or shareholders who do not currently reside in Australia or have their own personal Australian Tax File Number (TFN).

Context for Fast-Track Process:

  • All new Australian companies must obtain a unique 11-digit Australian Business Number (ABN) before they can trade.
    An ABN is required by all suppliers, customers, employees and for registering an Australian website domain name, etc.
  • ABN registration requires all shareholders & directors to have their identity verified by the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
  • ATO ID verification is typically satisfied by Australian residents via the personal Australian Tax File Number (TFN) of each officer.
  • Overseas shareholders and directors without an Australia TFN will need to verify their identities with the Australian Tax Office by posting certified copies of their ID documents to the ATO. Only once their ID has been verified can then be added to the company.
  • Manual ID verification with the ATO for overseas directors and shareholders takes a minimum of 28 days and usually longer, thus obtaining an ABN for a new company with overseas officers will often be delayed.

To avoid long delays, we recommend to proceed initially to register a company using only local officers and then to add any overseas directors and shareholders to the company after the ABN has been granted.

#Steps in the Sleek Fast-Track Process

Step 1: Company Incorporation & Registration of Company ABN and TFN

Proceed initially to register your Australian company with either your own local resident director or our Sleek Nominee Director as the director and shareholder for the new entity (both should already have a personal Australian TFN). Avoid adding any overseas directors and shareholders to the company at the initial registration step.

With this structure the company and ABN can be granted within 3 working days.

Step 2: Certification & Posting of Foreigners Identification Documents to Australia

In preparation to add the overseas director and shareholders, each overseas director and shareholder should get 2 copies of their Identity Documents, certified by a recognised notary and will need to post these certified ID documents to 2 different addresses in Australia.

Directors ID Application
The first set of certified ID docs will be used to apply for an Australian Director’s ID.

All Directors are required by Australian law to apply for a Director Identification Number (DIN), this is a 15-digit identifier that you keep forever. It helps prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities.

The application for a new Director ID must be submitted personally by directors and the application cannot be completed by a Third Party, including our Sleek Team. Failure to obtain a Director’s ID before being appointed as a director will result in heavy fines of $16,500 AUD or more.

To apply and obtain a Director’s ID as a foreign director, you will need to send a copy of your certified ID documents along with a completed from titled Application for a Director identification number for those living outside Australia to the following address:

Australian Business Registry Services Locked Bag 6000

If you need help with a Director’s ID application you can contact the MyGov HelpDesk either via their online chat, or by calling +61 1300 1MY GOV (1300 169 468) and selecting Option 1.

More instructions for how to apply for an Australian Director ID can be found here.

Non-Resident ABN Application

In addition to all overseas directors’ needing to post their certified ID documents to the ABRS to secure a Directors ID’ number, all overseas directors and shareholders will also need to send a copy of their certified ID documents to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). These documents will be used to match their identity against the company’s ABN allowing them to be added to the company as a company director and/or shareholder.

For Corporate Shareholders, a certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation will also need to be sent to the ATO for verification.

When there are multiple overseas directors and shareholders, where possible it is recommended to send all of the certified ID documents for all the shareholders and directors in one file to the ATO for processing.

These documents will need to be accompanied in the envelope by a completed ‘Non-resident ABN Application – Certified Identity Documents‘ which will all be posted to the following address:

Australian Taxation Office
Attention: Non-resident registrations team
PO Box 3373

Step 3: Addition of Overseas Directors & Transfer of Shareholding on ASICOnce each overseas director has obtained their Directors ID’s and the ATO has matched the identity documents of all overseas directors and shareholders to the company’s ABN number then the overseas directors can be added to the company and the overseas shareholders can also be added to the company.

Step 4: Bank Account Opening
Once the company has an ABN it is able to apply to open a corporate account. To support our Sleek clients with opening an Australian business account we have partnered with Airwallex who offer free Corporate Business Accounts & Visa Card (subject to approval).

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Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended for general informational purposes only and may not be specifically relevant to everyone’s personal situation. It should not be considered financial advice or a substitute for professional tax or accounting advice. Each individual’s circumstances are unique, and laws can vary. For tailored advice, please consult a qualified professional. Contact Sleek for further information on how we can help you.

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Offer applicable to new customers only, with the purchase of an accounting package. Valid until 31st October 2023.

30 Days Money Back Guarantee

Our refund policy:

We care about you – within 30 days from your purchase, if you’re unhappy with our services, we’ll refund our fee. Email or call us, and we’ll process the refund within five working days.

What it doesn’t cover:

We will not be able to refund Government fees once the application has been submitted, nor any third-party processing fees.

When it applies:

We cannot guarantee any specific legal outcomes when you use our services. For instance, a company registration might be filed correctly but still get rejected by the Company Registry for reasons beyond our control. We can only refund our fees for issues we are directly responsible for. In the case that you purchase a service and later change your mind, we can’t issue a refund.

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