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Australia Company Registration Guide

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Australia Legislation


Enjoying more than two decades of economic expansion, Australia is a vibrant free market and is one of the wealthiest Asia-Pacific nations. Governed by an effective system, Australia’s economy has been strong, unmarred by recession for more than 25 years. Ensuring your business information in Australia is accurate and up to standards is essential to keeping your business successful. To help companies prepare themselves for business, Links has created a company registration guide, including information such as the main employment laws, public holidays in Australia and best practices in Australia. Please note that all the information listed below are to be used as a general guideline, for more detailed accounts of laws and regulations, please visit the official governmental websites.


Australia Legislation

Companies looking to set up in Australia are required to fill out a form which is to be submitted to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Once the company is registered, they will be provided with a company number. For more details on this, you may visit the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) site.

In Australia you need to have an Australian Business Number to make tax payments and withhold PAYG from employees.

To open a bank account in Australia, you need to be an Australian citizen with a tax file number or be in Australia with relevant ID and named as a director for the company that you are opening a bank account for.

Benefits of Registering a Company in Australia


Diversity of workforce

Australia is home to people from many different cultures. This diversity of cultures brings innovation and new perspectives that can be quite valuable for doing business. If you are opening a company and looking to expand globally, the multinational, multicultural workforce in Australia is a good stepping stone.


Economic stability

Ranked in the global top five on the Index of Economic Freedom, Australia’s effective governance provides multinationals with a safe, secure business environment. Australia’s economy is ranked 15th out of 190 economies for ease of doing business.


Many small businesses

When opening a company in Australia, there is less of a need to be worried about not being able to compete in a market with large corporations. The majority (over nine in ten) of Australian businesses are small businesses. They account for 33 per cent of Australia’s GDP, they employ over 40 per cent of Australia’s workforce, and pay around 12 per cent of total company tax revenue.

Considerations when Starting a Company in Australia

All companies that have employees need to have a default super fund in the event that an employee does not have a super fund or has not supplied the information for their fund by the time payment is made. The default super fund that you choose must have a “My Super” option, which is a low cost fund.

For a list of all “My Super” options currently available in Australia, please visit the following link:

Employment Law in Australia

Employees’ Compensation

All companies must have workplace health and safety insurance to operate in Australia.

Some forms of insurance are compulsory for Australian businesses, such as:

  • Workers’ compensation – workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory if you have employees.
  • Public liability insurance – public liability insurance covers you for third party death or injury. Certain types of companies must take out public liability insurance.
  • Third party personal injury insurance – if you own a motor vehicle, you must pay for third party personal injury insurance. This is often part of your vehicle registration fee.

For more info, please visit:

Work Permits

It is the responsibility of all Australian businesses to employ legal workers.

A person is a legal worker if they are:

  • An Australian citizen
  • An Australian permanent resident
  • A New Zealand citizen, or
  • A foreign national with a visa with permission to work in Australia

Minimum Wages

The national minimum wage is currently $18.93 per hour or $719.20 per 38 hour week (before tax). This will be increased by 3% on July 1, 2019 to $740.80 a week or $19.49 an hour.

Maximum Working Hours

An employer must not request an employee to work more than the following hours of work in a work week, unless the additional hours are reasonable

  • for a full-time employee, 38 hours or
  • for an employee other than a full-time employee, the lesser of:
  • 38 hours or the employee’s ordinary hours of work in a week

The hours an employee works in a week must be taken to include any hours of leave or absence (paid or unpaid) that is authorised:

  • by the employer or
  • by or under a term of the employee’s employment or
  • by or under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law, or an instrument in force under such a law.

An employee may refuse to work additional hours if they are unreasonable. Here is more information on maximum working hours in Australia.

Paid Annual Leave

The fair work act in Australia states that all permanent employees are entitled to a minimum of 4 weeks annual leave per year, based on their hours of work. This accrues from the start date of the employee. Annual leave is paid out in full on termination of employment. See here for more information on paid annual leave.

Paid Sick Leave

The fair work act in Australia states that all permanent employees are entitled to a minimum of 10 days personal leave per year, based on their hours of work. This accrues from the start date of the employee.

Part-time employees have pro-rata days of personal leave. See here for more information on paid sick leave.


An employer must provide an employee with written notice of the day of termination when ending their employment. Some exceptions apply (see below).

An employer may give notice to the employee by either:

  • delivering it personally
  • leaving it at the employee’s last known address
  • sending it by pre-paid post to the employee’s last known address.

An employee may also need to give their employer notice of termination if their award or agreement specifies it. Here is a guide.


Long Service Leave

Each state has different legislation on Long Service Leave. Most employees’ entitlement to long service leave comes from long service leave laws in each state or territory. These laws set out:

  • how long an employee has to be working to get long service leave (eg. after 7 years)
  • how much long service leave the employee gets.



Benefits In Kind

Health insurance is not common practice in Australia and is not an obligation that employers need to cover.

Share Options

Share options are not commonly used as a benefit in Australia, but for more information please visit:


New Employees

When hiring new employees, they must be supplied with the Fair Work Information Statement. They also need to complete the tax file number declaration and super choice form.

Discrimination Laws

In Australia, it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of a number of protected attributes, including age, disability, race, sex, intersex status, gender identity and sexual orientation in certain areas of public life, including education and employment. Australia’s federal anti-discrimination laws are contained in the following legislation:

Statutory Benefits

Employees can get parental leave when a child is born or adopted. Parental leave entitlements include:

  • maternity leave
  • paternity and partner leave
  • adoption leave
  • special maternity leave
  • a safe job and no safe job leave
  • a right to return to old job


Payment Summaries

Employers must supply employees with payment summaries at the end of the financial year. These must be supplied by the 14th of July each year.

The payment summary should show each payee how much is paid to them in the financial year and how much is withheld from the payments.


PAYG (Pay As You Go) Withholding

Each pay period, tax will be taken from the employees pay and paid to the government on behalf of the employee. It is called PAYG Withholding. These payments include:

  • payments to employees, company directors and office holders
  • payments to workers under a labour-hire agreements
  • payments under voluntary agreements
  • payments where an (ABN) Australian business number has not been quoted in relation to a supply


Annual Employer Returns

At the end of the financial year, employers are required to submit tax information on their employees to the government. This is currently done using a PSAR file and used to be called the EMPDUPE


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Bank Accounts and Paying Salaries

Salaries can be made via direct credit to employee’s bank accounts, and payslips must be supplied within 1 working day of pay day, even if an employee is on leave.


Bonus Payments

If the commission, bonus or similar payment relates to work an employee performed in a single pay period (for example, a week, a fortnight or a month) the amount is added to all their other earnings for the current period. Withholding is then calculated using the standard PAYG withholding tax tables.

Read More: Is your company ready for Australia’s Single Touch Payroll?

Banking Industry

Local Information

Australia Public Holidays 2020

Public holidays can be different depending on the state or territory you’re in.  Below are the national Public Holidays:

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Australia Day Holiday 27 January
Good Friday 10 April
Day following Good Friday (i) 11 April
Easter Monday 13 April
Anzac Day 25 April
Queen’s Birthday (ii) 8 June
Christmas Day 25 December
Boxing Day (iii) 26 December
Boxing Day Holiday (iv) 28 December

(i) except for TAS & WA

(ii) except for QLD & WA

(iii) except for SA

(iv) except for SA

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