Registering a Foreign Company in Australia2023-10-20T01:33:34+00:00

Registering a Foreign Company in Australia

The Australian market needs your product, and we can help you bring it here. Simply. Effectively. Compliantly.

free guide to register your business in australia

What You Need to Know Before Bringing Your Business to Australia

Grab our free guide here

Considering your options for expanding
your business into Australia?

Registering a foreign company (also known as a branch office) could be the perfect solution. Our team at Allied Business Accountants are experts in international trade. Let us help you navigate the legal complexities, so you can make your business decisions confidently.Together with our network of knowledgeable accountants, lawyers, financial advisors, and other international trade experts, we can make sure your entry into the Australian market is successful.

The overwhelming truth about
expanding internationally

You already know that expanding into the Australian market could see your business thrive and prosper exponentially. But chances are, you’re also discovering the process of registering an Australian subsidiary can be confusing, frustrating, and costly (if done incorrectly).

It can be stressful to navigate and interpret all the Australian legal and tax regulations living in another country. Quite simply, you don’t know what you don’t know.

We can help.

Meet Allied Business Accountants, Your Foreign Company Experts

If you’re exploring the possibility of registering a foreign company, then you’re in the right place – Allied Business Accountants specialises in helping international companies break into the Australian market. We’re committed to not only making your expansion successful, but also creating an experience that you enjoy.

Growing your business is a time of great excitement, but it can also be a time of stress as you navigate complex international laws and regulations—we want to remove some of that frustration. We can make your Foreign Company registration a seamless process, so you can focus on what matters.
Our boutique accounting firm is owned and operated by David McKellar FCA, who brings a wealth of experience and real-world knowledge to his client’s businesses.
Together with our network of international business experts in various fields, we offer our clients a full spectrum of services, including accounting, financial advisory, legal, and human resource management, so you can confidently establish your business in Australia, knowing you’re in safe hands

Benefits of registering a
Foreign Company (Branch Office)

• No resident director required

So you remain in total control of your business

• Simplified tax process

Only pay tax on income earned in Australia

• Cost-Effective

Save the expense of hiring a resident director

Registering a foreign company could be the answer

In essence, a foreign company (also known as a branch office) is an appendage of its parent company–the ‘branch’ being an alternate/additional business location (Australia). It’s not a separate legal entity under Australian law, although it must comply with Australian law and tax requirements.

What’s included

Here at Allied Business Accountants, we specialise in helping international businesses expand into the Australian market. We have the processes, systems, and—most importantly—knowledge, to ensure your Australian subsidiary formation is simple and stress-free. When you use our services, you can be confident all the finer details are covered. We’ll handle all the necessary registrations and provide you with all the regulatory documents you need to trade in Australia, including:

  • Company registration with ASIC (ARBN)

  • Taxation registrations (ABN, GST, etc.)

  • Local Agent Appointment

  • Registered office Address

  • Public officer appointment

  • Access to our network of international business experts

  • Ongoing advice and support

The Process to Register Foreign Company in Australia

We know you have a lot to focus on, which is why we’ve made the process of international incorporation as simple as possible. The advantage is, you only need to complete the first two steps–we handle the rest.

Step 01: Complete our electronic form

Step 02: Send certified documentation

Step 03: We register the company with ASIC

Step 04: We register the company with ATO

Step 05: We open a bank account

Step 06: You’re ready to trade

What our Client Say About us

We’ve been using Allied Accountants for 8 years, and couldn’t imagine going anywhere else. David is always available to respond to emails and quick return missed phone calls. He’s friendly, upfront, professional and his services are affordable. If I could give more than 5 stars I would

Rachelle Williams

Thanks to David and his team as they are exceptional accountants and always surprise us by how knowledgeable they are in a wide range of fields. For almost a decade, Allied Business Accountants have facilitated the financial structure of our business and have maintained our financial records up to date in a timely manner without headache from our end, or us worrying about missing any deadlines.

Dureka Pty Ltd
I am forever grateful to David for all those years he has invested his attention in my financial affairs and financial strategy. The outcome has enabled me to have the financial freedom and quality of life that I thought I could only dream about. I would highly recommend David and his team.
Tracey Willett

I have found Allied to be understanding, cooperative and right up to date on current accounting and tax issues. They have guided me through establishing and administration of our Self Managed Super Fund which has supported my retirement. I appreciated direct contact with senior management and would recommend Allied to any person requiring advice and support for their financial matters.


David was an absolute star, after being referred to him for some accounting advice for our small business, he knew exactly what we needed and there was no hassle and was very straight forward. Highly recommend this business for your accounting needs.

Nermeen Naguib

We have recommended Allied to a number of clients and received fantastic feedback.

Legal Head Start

Need more information?

There’s a lot to consider when exploring your options for trading internationally. We understand the investment involved, and the importance of making the correct (informed) decisions, which is why we’re happy to provide you with further information. If you have any questions regarding your international trade options, our packages, or pricing, please feel free to fill in the form and we’ll respond to you via email.

Expertise you can trust

Experienced, professional Melbourne accountants with industry leading qualifications and accreditations to show for it. Learn more from a specialised business accountants.

Foreign Companies – Frequently Asked Questions

There are two main options for expanding your business internationally into Australian waters, one being an Australian Subsidiary, and the other is registering a foreign company.

A foreign company is sometimes also referred to as a branch office. It’s an entity that’s been registered in Australia with a Registered Body Number (ARBN). A foreign company is essentially an appendage of its parent company with an alternate or additional business location – being Australia.

The first crucial step is determining the appropriate structure for your Australian business – most foreign-owned entities opt for a company structure. Also, when setting up a company in Australia, at least one director must be an Australian resident for tax purposes.

Once the structure is in place, you need to get your registrations in order. This means getting an Australian Business Number (ABN), investigating if you need to register for goods and services tax (GST) and also registering for a tax file number (TFN).

This is an important question, as non-resident businesses will generally be taxed on income that has an Australian source, while Australian resident entities are taxed on their worldwide income.

Most non-resident businesses will operate in Australia through a company structure. A company only becomes a resident of Australia if it’s incorporated in Australia, if it conducts its business in Australia and is controlled by Australian residents, or if it has Australia-based management.

Yes, in order to carry on business in Australia, all foreign companies must be registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
Incorporating a foreign company in Australia can be a complex process, one that’s definitely best left to the experts. Here at Allied Business Accountants, we specialise in helping businesses expand operations internationally. Speak to us today to get tailored advice for your business.
Yes. But where GST registration is applicable, a foreign company will only pay GST on activities connected to Australia.
Being aware of transfer pricing rules is a very important issue for foreign-owned businesses operating in Australia.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has strict rules around how an international entity can transact with its Australian entity.

Essentially, the pricing of goods and services between two related entities must be at market rates. A foreign-owned business can’t be seen to be shifting its profits to another jurisdiction by setting unrealistic prices.

A thinly capitalised entity is an entity funded by a large amount of debt and very little equity. Due to the large amount of debt, there can be potential to claim large tax deductions for interest payments on that debt.

Some foreign-owned entities will attempt to lower their taxes in Australia by creating loans to Australian businesses and using the interest payable as a deduction. The interest income is then recognised in another tax jurisdiction.

Like transfer pricing, thin capitalisation is closely watched by the ATO to ensure that profits are not shifted away from an Australian entity to another country with lower tax rates.

free guide to register your business in australia

What You Need to Know Before Bringing Your Business to Australia

Grab our free guide here

Local Agent Services

Our experience in managing the needs of international business and acting in the capacity of Local Agent for foreign companies registered with ASIC is second to none.

Australian Subsidary

Australia is an ideal location in which to expand a company, By opening a subsidiary, you can find cost-competitive spaces, an educated workforce, and a transparent environment that makes it easy for business.

Resident Director

Resident Director Services for foreign companies offshore. Australian Resident Directors are a requirement if you’re looking to enter the Australian market and setup a company in Australia.

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