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Doing business & investment in Australia 

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The Australian Government welcomes foreign direct investment and recognizes it has helped build Australia's economy and contributes to economic growth, innovation, and prosperity in the following sectors.


Investment industries sector

  • Agribusiness and food

  • Infrastructure

  • Resources and Energy

  • Defense, advanced manufacturing, and space

  • Digital technologies

  • Health & biotechnology 

FIRB - Regulation of foreign investment and doing business in Australia 

The Foreign Investment Review Board ( FIRB) is a non-statutory body established advising the Treasurer and the Government on Australia's Foreign Investment Policy (the Policy) and its administration. The FIRB examines and evaluates the proposals by foreign persons to invest in Australia and makes recommendations to the Treasurer on those subject to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 and Australia's foreign investment policy.

The laws govern foreign investment for doing business in Australia

Foreign Investor obligations

Commonly used SPV structure in doing business in Australia

  • Australian subsidiary

  • Foreign company

  • Establishing a company in Australia

  • ​Joint venture

  • Partnership

Essential laws for doing business in Australia.

There are many laws that you need to consider when doing business in Australia, depending on the nature and scope of your activities. Some of the common laws that may apply to your business are:

Business registrations: You may need to register for an Australian business number (ABN), goods and services tax (GST), tax file number (TFN), and pay as you go (PAYG) withholding. You may also need to register a business name, a trade mark, and a website domain.


Fair trading: You need to comply with fair trading laws that ensure your business operates fairly and competitively, and that you inform and protect your customers. These laws include the Australian Consumer Law, the Competition and Consumer Act, the Australian standards, and the codes of conduct.


Contracts: You need to understand the legal implications of entering into a commercial contract, whether it is a verbal or written agreement. You need to make sure you understand the terms and conditions, the rights and obligations, and the dispute resolution mechanisms of the contract.


Privacy: You need to comply with privacy laws that regulate how you collect, use, store, and disclose personal information of your customers, employees, and other parties. These laws include the Privacy Act, the Australian Privacy Principles, and the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme.


Employment: You need to comply with employment laws that govern your relationship with your employees, such as wages, work health and safety, workers’ compensation, anti-discrimination, and anti-bullying. These laws include the Fair Work Act, the National Employment Standards, the Modern Awards, and the Enterprise Agreements.


Intellectual property: You need to protect your intellectual property rights, such as patents, trademarks, designs, and copyrights, and respect the intellectual property rights of others. These rights are regulated by the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act, the Patents Act, the Trade Marks Act, the Designs Act, and the Copyright Act.


Taxation: You need to comply with taxation laws that apply to your business income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. These laws include the Income Tax Assessment Act, the Goods and Services Tax Act, the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act, and the Taxation Administration Act.

Contract law with business parties in Australia.  

Australian contract law is based and on UK law.  the parties have the freedom to contract as they see fit and the terms are freely determined by the parties for their own situation as long as it is operated within legal boundaries.


The main consideration when making a contract is that the terms of the contract must be certain and clear to understand for both parties.  ambiguous terms and conditions later can be a problem and its interpretation often to be decided at the court with costs and expenses incurred.   Also, the parties must demonstrate their intention to create legal relations, and enter into a binding agreement.

Australian courts generally do not invalidate vague or ambiguous terms and rather with respect to such terms. the courts decide its proper construction.  A contract may be unenforceable it if is made by a person who lacks authority, incapable adult, and or minor.  The Corporations Act in Australia contains a number of assumptions that third parties are entitled to make when dealing with companies, including in respect of the appointment of directors, and the entering of contracts both directly and where an agent is used.

Useful websites for doing business in Australia

Australian Securities and Investment Commission

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Fair Work Commission

Australian Taxation Office

Foreign Investment Review Board


Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

Australian Parliament

IP Australia

Australian Securities Exchange

Department of Home Affairs

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