What are your obligations as a foreign company in Australia?
A foreign company intending to carry on a business in Australia is generally required to register with ASIC as a ‘Registered Foreign Company’.
Registered foreign companies have the following ongoing obligations:
- Maintain a registered office in Australia- which is open every business day from at least 10 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm.
- Have a representative of the company present at the registered office whenever it is open.
- Display the company’s name and place of origin outside every place of business that is open to the public.
- Display the company’s name and ARBN on all public documents. This includes negotiable instruments published or signed in the jurisdiction.
- Appoint a local agent – the local agent is responsible for any obligations the company must meet and may be liable for any breaches or penalties.
- Lodge an annual return at least once every calendar year and within one month after the date of the annual general meeting (AGM).
- Lodge financial statements with ASIC at least once every calendar year.’
- Notify ASIC of certain changes, including amendments to its constitution or any other lodged documents; its directors (including changes to the powers of Australian resident directors); and/or its local agent.
Steps to register a foreign company in Australia are:
- Ensure the name you wish to register is available.
- Complete ASIC Form 402 (Application for registration as a foreign company).
- Include supporting documents.’
- Lodge Form 402 with the fee and supporting documents with ASIC.