In doing business in Australia, every businessmen should know the existing policies and regulations as provided by the Australian government. Certain decisions will have to be made by business owners on recruiting staff, paying taxes and meeting ongoing regulatory requirements such as financial reporting.
Employment in Australia
The Australian government requires compliance with a range of legislative requirements from businesses that seek to employ people in the country. These include conditions of employment, and where relevant, visa status. The government also offers assistance to organizations and businesses that are looking for staff.
The employment system is Australia is well-developed and is designed to provide flexibility and certainty to both employers and employees. The employment system includes occupational health and safety regulations, and superannuation payments.
Forms of Employment
Depending on the need of the business, employers should decide on the form of employment, whether workers will serve as employees or contractors.
Entitlements to employees are defined by national employment standards. These standards cover working hours, flexible working arrangements, leave and related entitlements, and termination and redundancy payments.
Health and Safety System
Australia requires all employers to maintain a safe workplace for their own sake and the employees.’ These requirements also protect employers in case of incidents in the workplace. This is also true of occupational health and safety standards.
Australian Government legislation state and territory laws also govern workers’ compensation. Obligations and relevant policy is provided by a workplace authority in each state or territory.
Employees receive their superannuation to provide for their retirement. In addition to the wages, the Australian law requires employers to pay the employees’ superannuation payments.
Government Support in Australia
Investors will receive support from the Australian Government to help them set up and run a business in Australia. This assistance will vary by location, industry, and the nature of the business activity.
Assistance to Investors
International companies can find assistance in establishing and building their business in Australia.
The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) promotes, attracts, and facilitates productive foreign direct investment (FDI) into Australia. The coordinated approach that Austrade provides helps investors save time and money.
Australian State and Territory Government Assistance
Investors can get help with the various aspects of the investment process and offers programs from all state and territory governments to encourage business. Within their jurisdictions, they also offer a range of programs to encourage business, innovation, and growth.
Grants and Assistance
Grants and assistance are also available to help investors in setting up a business, expanding a business, and for specific activities such as research.
Tax in Australia
A tax is an obligation of all businesses, so an understanding of Australian tax will greatly help any investor who will do business in Australia.
The Australian Government collects most major business taxes such as income tax. In order to prevent double taxation of foreign entities, Australia holds tax treaties with other nations.
The Australian Taxation Office administers and collects taxes in Australia. Paying the correct amount of tax on time and taking advantage of any tax concessions will help businesses save money.
Company (income) Tax, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) are the key taxes that affect businesses.
The company tax is set by the Australian Government imposed on resident companies. A non-resident company is taxed at the same rate as the resident company. Business structure can also affect the tax rate at a limited circumstance.
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is paid as part of income tax. It applies to capital gains made through the disposal of assets.
Most businesses are also required to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST). GST is a national, broad-based consumer tax on most goods and services sold or consumed in Australia. A payroll tax is placed on the wages paid to employees.
Australian Tax Treaties
In order to prevent double taxation, Australia has tax agreements with more than 40 countries. Tax treaties also promote cooperation between international tax authorities. Any legal resident of the treaty country will be subject to the conditions of the treaty.
Business Regulation in Australia
Any business that wants to do well in Australia should understand Australian regulatory obligations. The regulations are designed to ensure that there is a fair competition, sufficient protection for the relevant parties, and integrity in the market.
Intellectual Property Laws
Intellectual Property includes patents, trademarks, designs, and secret processes and formulae. Australian IP is designed to protect businesses that possess intellectual property that can help them gain a competitive advantage.
For example, the Australian patent provides a legal right to stop third parties from manufacturing, using and/or selling an invention in Australia. A registered trademark provides legal protection to prevent others from using your brand.