Australia currently has 2.5 million registered companies and incorporates another 600 new companies every day (on average). Companies are a popular business/investment structure as they are easy to establish, provide limited liability, and have a flat tax rate of either 27.5% or 30%.
Companies can be incorporated direct with ASIC upon completing and lodging Form 201(Application for registration as an Australian company) and paying the $479 lodgement fee. This is the cheapest method to incorporate a company, but unfortunately the slowest. The Form 201 needs to be posted to the ASIC offices for processing (so may take a week or two to get the company registered).
In contrast, online company registrations can be done within minutes. Australia has over 20 online company registration companies with the market leader being Cleardocs (www.cleardocs.com.au). Cleardocs charge a company incorporation fee of $137.50 (plus the $479 ASIC fee).
Due to immense competition, online company incorporation costs have plummeted. Rocket Registrations is currently the cheapest in Australia with a fee of only $22 (www.rocketregistrations.com.au). If Australia follows the UK pattern, then online company incorporation costs will eventually fall to zero.