What is a branch registration? (registering a foreign company in Australia)

If you are deemed to be carrying on a business in Australia, as defined broadly under the Corporations Act, then you are required to register your company with ASIC. Foreign businesses generally have two options when establish their business in Australia, each of which have their pros and cons.

By Richard Chatten-Hague

The first option is to register directly as a foreign company with ASIC. This method is akin to establishing a branch in Australia, as it does not require the establishment of a separate legal entity.

The second option involves operating your business as an incorporated entity such as a proprietary limited (Pty Ltd) company which will transform your enterprise into a separate legal entity. More information can be found on our article about this here.

There are a few special requirements that non-residents need to navigate when looking to register their foreign company formally with ASIC, such as the need to appoint a local agent and have a registered office address in Australia. There are also considerations such as obtaining an Australian Business Number (ABN) for a foreign company, GST considerations and general compliance with the Corporations Act.

At ABN Australia, we have significant experience in managing the needs of international businesses looking to register their company with ASIC in Australia - ranging from large international listed businesses right through to smaller enterprises looking to set up a regional sales or administrative office.

Should you be looking to register your company in Australia, contact our friendly and professional team today.

Published: 17th January 2024