This guide provides an overview of setting up a remote company in Australia, including the process, requirements and more.
Remote companies do not have a physical office where staff work. But instead, employees can work from wherever they are, even in different time zones. There is a wide range of advantages of working remotely, such as hiring a broad pool of talent from different countries, no longer needing work permits for foreign employees and reduced payroll taxes.
Incorporating a remote company in Australia
The most suitable structure for a remote company in Australia is a proprietary company which is a separate legal entity and provides limited liability to its shareholders.
The process of setting up a proprietary company is relatively simple and includes the following steps:
- Choosing and reserving a company name:
Not essential prior to registering the company, but if you prefer to reserve the company name, firstly you should check the availability of the name to ensure you do not use an existing or identical company name. Then you can reserve the company name by lodging Form 410 Application for reservation of a name. Once the application is approved, the name will be reserved for two months.
- Determine how the company will be governed:
A proprietary company can be governed by a constitution, replaceable rules, or both. The constitution is a document outlining the rules governing the relationship between the company, directors and shareholders, while the replaceable rules provide basic rules for governing a company.
- Company registration
The company is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Once the company is successfully registered and an Australian Company Number (ACN) has been issued, you can then apply for the taxation registrations; an Australian Business Number (ABN) and a Company Tax File Number (TFN), both issued by the Australian Business Register (ABR).
Appointing a resident director
One of the requirements stipulated by ASIC when setting up a company in Australia is that all private companies registered in Australia must have a local Australian resident appointed as a director of the company at all times.
To be eligible to be a director of a company, they must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Ordinarily, reside in Australia
- Consent to taking on the role and responsibilities of a director.
The resident director ensures that the company complies with its obligations and carries out essential tasks on your behalf, which include:
- Signing contracts
- Assisting with the opening of a bank account
- Reviewing financial records
- Ensuring company solvency
Appointing a public officer
The public officer, who must ordinarily reside in Australia, is the company’s representative and contact point to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). They are responsible for all company tax obligations under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.
Some of their responsibilities include:
- Registering for tax
- Lodging tax returns
- Maintain records
- Manage communications with the ATO
A virtual office functions as your Australian registered office, but not the place that business is carried on. With a virtual office, you do not need to bring in any employees, and they can work remotely.
Acclime offers a cost-effective virtual office solution for you to be able to operate your business remotely. The services include:
- Forwarding mail from ASIC, ATO, banks, etc.
- Posting and couriering official documents and correspondence
- Receiving and making phone calls on the company’s behalf
You can set up a remote company in Australia by incorporating a proprietary company which provides limited liability to its shareholders. As it is a remote company, there is no need to bring in any employees; however, it is a requirement that there must be at least one director who ordinarily resides in Australia and a public officer who is responsible for the company’s tax obligations. You will also need to have a virtual office to receive important documents from the government and make phone calls on behalf of the company.
For more advice on setting up a (remote) company in Australia, please get in touch with Acclime. Our team of accountants, tax agents, and legal professionals deliver an integrated service that enables your business to maximise the Australian market’s opportunities and incentives.
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