Entering the Australian Market

When establishing a new business in Australia there are numerous matters to consider.

The most common business structures in Australia adopted by parent entities are either a branch of the foreign parent company or a separate Australian subsidiary company, the choice of which depends on the specific circumstances of the foreign business. In either case, Australia’s corporate law requires the appointment of a local resident to act as either a local agent/officer for the branch, or a director for the company.

This requirement can be a major hurdle if you have no contacts in Australia willing to take on this role, because as a resident director Australia expects significant commitment, which brings with it certain liabilities and legal exposure.

How can Ecovis Clark Jacobs help?

Ecovis Clark Jacobs currently provides Australian resident director services for several of our foreign clients from around the world including the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Israel and NZ. We assist in the full business lifecycle, providing tax, accounting, and related business services as an add-on to the resident directorship, including:

  • Arranging establishment of the subsidiary company with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC);
  • Registering the subsidiary company with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for a Tax File Number (TFN), Australian Business Number (ABN), Goods and Services Tax (GST), Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYG);
  • Liaising with our bookkeeping arm (ECJ Online) to set up your accounting systems and/or advise on use of your own system for Australian purposes;
  • Acting as your accountants in Australia, providing advice on your monthly/quarterly/annual tax and accounting compliance and reporting obligations under Australian tax legislation, and managing these on your behalf;
  • Providing full outsourced payroll, accounts payable/receivable services;
  • Providing advice on options available to minimise regulatory reporting and lodgement requirements where requested and appropriate (e.g. possible audit exemption);
  • Providing strategic advice and support for the growth of your Australian operations where requested and appropriate;
  • Providing independent and unbiased advice on the performance of the local business and employees where requested and appropriate; and
  • Doing everything reasonably possible to ensure that the non-resident directors of the subsidiary have complete control over the Australian operations.
"By appointing David Conley as resident director of our Australian business we were assured that all bases were being covered"Debbie Manners CEO KEO Films Australia Pty Ltd

Why Choose Ecovis Clark Jacobs?

As Australian ‘locals’ we have the knowledge, expertise and contacts to enable your Australian venture to be set-up and running in the shortest possible timeframe.

International Support

Our international network gives us easy access to advice concerning the interaction of Australian tax with your home jurisdiction, if required.

Local Knowledge

In addition to our own tax, accounting and related advisory skills, we can introduce further expertise via our network of lawyers, banks/lenders, insurers, valuers, translators…whatever you require

How to Start the Process

When you first make contact with us we will have many questions. As the role of a resident director in Australia involves personal liabilities and risks for the individual involved, we have specific information, documentation and insurance requirements that must be satisfied, including:

  • We need to understand as much as possible about your Australian business, its history (if any), its plans, the scope of activities, interaction with the parent company, etc. We will liaise with you by email and phone (or in person if you are visiting Australia), to make sure we each have all the information we need, and to ensure we are comfortable with you and you are comfortable with us;
  • We will provide you with a Deed of Access and Indemnity which you will need to review and sign;
  • If you do not already have a global D&O Insurance policy in place that covers Australia, we can recommend insurance brokers to obtain this;
  • We will provide contacts for any other specific services you require in Australia.