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Australia - Market Entry & Business Opportunities

August 24, 2023 | Corporate & Commercial Law

Australia is one of the most open and transparent markets but just like other countries, it has its own local customs, cultural traits, and regulatory challenges that you need to consider.

Australia, with its capital in Canberra, has a population of approximately 25.7 million people. The country is known for its multicultural society, with a diverse population that includes European, Indigenous, and various other ethnic backgrounds. Australia's population has seen a slight growth of 0.1% in 2022. With a vast land area of 7.7 million square kilometres, Australia is located between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and is geographically isolated from other continents. The currency used in Australia is the Australian Dollar (AUD).

Economic Overview

Australia's economy is projected to grow by 1.6% in 2023, outperforming the average of advanced economies. It has a strong consumer market with high disposable income, and the country ranks 12th globally in terms of nominal GDP. Key growth sectors include professional services, transportation, healthcare, and accommodation. Inflation is expected to decrease, but challenges lie in the volatile international context, ongoing pandemic effects, cost-of-living crisis, and China's economic slowdown. Australia's economy remains resilient but must navigate these challenges for continued growth.

Market Overview

Australia's economy experienced nearly 30 years of growth, driven by a diversified services sector. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a contraction in 2020, but effective containment measures and government support led to a strong recovery in 2021. Challenges remain due to supply chain disruptions and rising prices. Australia's strategic location provides favourable access to Asia-Pacific markets, and its free trade agreements support exports of goods and services. Key sectors include education, tourism, and professional services. Trade plays a vital role, accounting for over 40% of GDP. Australia's economy remains resilient and globally connected.

Bilateral Relations Between Iindia-Asutralia

  • The Joint Working Group on Energy and Minerals, established in 1999, aims to enhance the bilateral relationship between Australia and India in the energy and resources sector. In 2019, an MoU on mines safety was signed between the DGMS, India, and the Queensland Government, Australia.
  • India and Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on tourism cooperation, aiming to boost tourism between the two countries in the post-pandemic period. The MoU seeks to enhance collaboration and promote tourism initiatives between India and Australia.
  • In April 2021, Australia, India, and Japan jointly launched the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) with the objective of strengthening supply chain resilience and fostering sustainable and inclusive growth in the region. The SCRI aims to create a virtuous cycle that enhances the resilience of supply chains among the participating countries.
  • On June 4, 2020, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a virtual summit between India and Australia. During the summit, the existing bilateral Strategic Partnership, established in 2009, was upgraded to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) between the two countries.


Australian residents are subject to income tax on their global income, with exemptions and concessions available. Foreign residents are typically taxed only on income from Australian sources, with possible exemptions and concessions. Double tax agreements may limit Australia's taxing authority, and specific exemptions may apply to foreign residents under Australian tax laws.

  • Income Tax - Australian residents must include gains and losses from debt and financial instruments in their taxable income. Complex rules apply based on factors like debt terms and tax treatment. Gains/losses from debt held through foreign branches may be exempt, depending on location and activities. Foreign residents are taxed on net gains from debt with Australian sources or held through Australian establishments. Transfer pricing rules apply to non-arm's length debt transactions. Corporate tax rate is 30% (25% for some entities), non-corporate rates can reach 47% (including Medicare Levy). Consult tax professionals or latest regulations for accurate and current information.
  • Withholding Tax - Certain types of income, like dividends and interest, earned by entities outside Australia may be subject to a final withholding tax. If a debt holder is located outside Australia or an Australian resident entity holds debt through a foreign branch, payments of interest and similar amounts are generally subject to a 10% withholding tax on interest. No deductions for associated expenses are allowed, unless exemptions apply.
  • Goods and Services Tax - In Australia, a goods and services tax (GST) of 10% is imposed on certain supplies of goods and services connected with Australia. Registered entities making taxable supplies must remit GST to the ATO and can claim input tax credits for GST paid on related acquisitions. However, certain transactions, like financial transactions, are input taxed, meaning no GST is charged and input tax credits are restricted. GST-free supplies, such as exports, are not subject to GST, and input tax credits are not restricted. GST-free status takes precedence over input taxed status if a supply falls into both categories.
  • Fringe Benefits Tax - In Australia, the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) is a tax imposed on non-cash benefits provided by employers to employees. The FBT rate is 46.5%, and it is paid by the employer. Certain benefits are included or excluded under Australian law, and the amount of FBT paid may be deductible for the employer. Employers should understand their obligations, properly assess and report fringe benefits, and seek professional advice to ensure compliance with FBT regulations.

Subsidies and Incentives

Australia offers various subsidies and incentives to support businesses and promote economic growth. Some notable subsidies and incentives include-

  • R&D Tax Incentive: Tax offsets for eligible R&D activities.
  • Export Market Development Grant (EMDG): Financial assistance for export promotion expenses.
  • Small Business Grants and Support: Grants and programs for small businesses.
  • Clean Energy Grants and Incentives: Support for renewable energy and clean technology projects.
  • Regional Development Grants: Funding for regional economic development and infrastructure projects.
  • Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC): Financial solutions and insurance for exporting businesses.
  • State-Specific Incentives: Additional subsidies and incentives by each state/territory.

Financing Business in Australia

When it comes to financing a business in Australia, there are various options available to entrepreneurs and business owners. Here are some common financing methods-

  • Bank Loans: Seek business loans from major banks like Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ, and National Australia Bank.
  • Government Grants: Access grants and funding programs for specific sectors, such as R&D and export activities.
  • Venture Capital: Obtain capital and expertise from venture capital firms like Blackbird Ventures and Square Peg Capital.
  • Crowdfunding: Raise capital through platforms like Pozible and Kickstarter from individual contributors.
  • Peer-to-Peer Lending: Connect with individual lenders through platforms like SocietyOne for competitive loans.
  • Business Incubators: Join programs like Startmate and BlueChilli for funding and support.
  • Trade Credit: Negotiate credit terms with suppliers to manage cash flow effectively.

Top 10 Companies in Australia – 2022


Rank Company    Industry    Annual Revenue (USD)
1 BHP Group Mining    $ 65.09 B
2 Woolworths Group Retail    $ 41.86 B
3 Coles Group Retail    $ 27.08 B
4 Wesfarmers    Retail    $ 25.23 B
5 Fortescue    Mining    $ 17.31 B
6 Commonwealth Bank Bank & Financial Services $ 16.46 B
7 Telstra    Telecommunications    $ 14.39 B
8 Blue Scope Steel Steel Manufacturing $ 13.06 B
9 ANZ Bank Bank & Financial Services $ 12.33 B
10 National Australia Bank Chemicals    $ 11.93 B

Most Popular E-Commerce Companies in Australia– 2022

RANK    COMPANY    Headquarter
1 Gumtree    United Kingdom
2 Ebay    USA
3 Amazon    USA
4 Woolworths    Australia
5 JB Hi-Fi Australia
6 Kmart    Australia
7 Big W Australia
8 Kogan    Australia
9 Coles      Australia
10 Deliveroo    United Kingdom

Top 5 Start-ups in Australia– 2022

RANK    COMPANY    Description    FOUNDED IN
1 Rumin8 Food and Beverage 2021
2 Fable Food Mock Meat Products 2019
3 Dovetail    Software    2017
4 Truescope    Media    2019
5 Sidus Heroes Gaming    2021

Business Clusters in Aaustralia

Business clusters in Australia refer to geographic concentrations of interconnected businesses, suppliers, and institutions operating within a specific industry or related industries.

  • Silicon Beach: Australia's tech start-up cluster, centred around Sydney and Melbourne, known for its vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and innovative tech companies.
  • Mining and Resources Cluster: Located primarily in Western Australia and Queensland, this cluster includes mining companies, equipment suppliers, and related services, driving the country's significant mining industry.
  • Health and Medical Research Cluster: Concentrated in Melbourne and Sydney, this cluster encompasses leading medical research institutions, hospitals, and biotechnology companies, contributing to advancements in healthcare.
  • Food and Agriculture Cluster: Spread across regional areas, this cluster includes agricultural producers, food processors, and research organizations, capitalizing on Australia's diverse agricultural sector.
  • Creative Industries Cluster: Found in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, this cluster encompasses film, television, music, design, and digital media, fostering creativity and cultural innovation.
  • Defence and Aerospace Cluster: Centred around Adelaide and Canberra, this cluster includes defence contractors, research organizations, and aerospace companies, driving innovation in defence technology and aerospace manufacturing.

Starting a Business in Australia

Entrepreneurs in Australia have various options for establishing their businesses, including sole proprietorships/traders, partnership firms, and companies. A sole proprietorship is a straightforward business structure where the entrepreneur assumes ownership of all the assets and liabilities. This type of business structure is widely adopted in Australia and is considered one of the most popular choices for entrepreneurs. The following information is to be decided and declared before registering and setting up the business.

  • Select a Business Name
  • Select a Business Address
  • Decide the Director and Shareholder of the Company
After finalising the above mentioned details, the following procedure is mandatory to set up and carry out business activities in Australia.

  • Register the Business with ASIC
  • Register the Business with ASIC
  • Apply for Australian Business Number
  • Register Business Name with ASIC
  • Register for GST
  • Open a Local Bank Account
  • Apply for Licenses and Permits

To know more about our services and how we can help you in Australia – CLICK HERE

Best Locations to set up Business in Australia

Australia offers several attractive locations for setting up a business. Some of the best locations known for their business-friendly environment, infrastructure, and opportunities include:

  • Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide are major business hubs in Australia with diverse economies and skilled workforces.
  • Canberra, as the capital city, is home to government agencies and organisations.
  • Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are known for their tourism industries.
  • Newcastle and Hobart have strong industries in mining, energy, manufacturing, and technology.
  • Darwin serves as a gateway to Asia and offers opportunities in trade, logistics, and tourism.
  • The Adelaide Hills region is focused on agriculture, food and wine production, tourism, and creative industries.
  • The Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) supports start-ups and innovation-driven businesses in the Australian Capital Territory.

Visa and Immigration

Australia offers a variety of visas, depending upon the nature and duration of the stay in the country. The following visas are granted to those who wish to conduct business activity in Australia:

  • Australia Significant Investor Visa (Golden Visa) - The Australian Significant Investor Visa, or Golden Visa, attracts high net worth individuals by offering permanent residency in exchange for a significant investment. Applicants must invest at least AUD 5 million in compliant investments, such as government bonds or Australian businesses. Requirements may change, so it's advisable to consult with immigration professionals or the Department of Home Affairs for the latest information.
  • Australian Business Innovation and Investment Visa - The Australian Business Innovation and Investment Visa program attracts experienced business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs. It offers pathways to permanent residency through streams like Business Innovation, Investor, Significant Investor, Premium Investor, and Entrepreneur. Each stream has specific requirements, such as minimum investments and business experience, to demonstrate commitment to Australia.
  • Business Owner Visa - The Business Owner Visa in Australia is for individuals looking to establish or manage a business. It involves a points-based assessment considering factors like age, English proficiency, and business experience. The visa allows temporary or permanent residency, promoting economic contribution and potential permanent residency.
  • Investor Visa - The Investor Visa in Australia is for high-net-worth individuals making a significant investment in the country. It grants temporary or permanent residency based on investment in government bonds, managed funds, or Australian businesses. Financial requirements vary by visa subclass. The visa promotes economic contribution and potential permanent residency.
Australia has a stable economy and nurturing business environment with extensive support from the government. However, to enter a new market, one needs to carry out a proper market research, understand the rules & regulations and build a network with local businesses. With a tailored market strategy and carefully drafted business plan, businesses can thrive in the lucrative Australian market.

Having strong global presence and alliances with some of the largest law firms, India Law Offices serves our clients from around the world. In Australia, we work closely with Kells, a reputable law firm based in Sydney, Australia that offers comprehensive legal services companies and individuals from Australia, as well as international clients seeking to enter the Australian market.

If you are an Australian national or a company seeking legal assistance in India or an Indian planning to enter the Australia market, our firm can provide the necessary guidance and support you require.

To know more about the Australian market, request a Free Detailed Australia Market Entry Report by submitting a query below.

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