The Ultimate Guide to Company Registration in Australia and Key Terms Explained

Starting a business in Australia can be an exciting and rewarding venture, but it can also be overwhelming, especially when it comes to navigating the legal and regulatory requirements. Company registration is one of the first steps to setting up a business, and it's crucial to understand the process and definitions of related terms. This guide is designed to help you register your company in Australia and provide you with the information you need to get started

What is Company Registration in Australia?​​​​​​​

Company registration is the process of registering a company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). It involves providing ASIC with information about the company's directors, shareholders, and structure, as well as registering the company's name and choosing a company type. The ASIC uses this information to create a company record, which is publicly available​​​​​​​.

​​​​​​​Types of Companies in Australia:

In Australia, there are three main types of companies: sole trader, partnership, and company. The most common type of company for new businesses is a proprietary limited company.
A proprietary limited company (Pty Ltd) is a type of company that limits the liability of its shareholders to the amount they have invested in the company. This means that if the company is sued or goes into debt, the shareholders' personal assets are protected.

The Company Registration Process

The process of registering a company in Australia can be completed online through the ASIC website. Here's a step-by-step guide to registering your company:

  • Choose a company name.
  • Check that the name is available by using the ASIC's Name Availability Checker.
  • Register the company name with ASIC.
  • Appoint directors and shareholders.
  • Choose a registered office address.
  • Lodge the appropriate forms with ASIC.
  • Pay the required fees.
  • Receive confirmation of your company's registration from ASIC.

Key Terms to Know When Registering Your Company
When registering your company in Australia, there are a few key terms you should be familiar with. Here are some of the most important ones:
Director: A director is a person who manages the company and makes important decisions on behalf of the shareholders.
Shareholder: A shareholder is a person who owns shares in the company and has a right to vote on important matters.
Registered office: A registered office is the official address of the company and must be in Australia.
ABN: An ABN is an 11-digit number that identifies your business to the government and the public.
ACN: An ACN is a unique nine-digit number assigned to your company by ASIC.

Where can register company online?

The process of registering a company in Australia can be completed online through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website at This is the official government website for registering companies in Australia, and it provides a step-by-step guide to help you through the process. There are also a number of other websites that offer company registration services, such as legal firms and accounting firms. However, it's important to be cautious when using these services and to choose a reputable provider to ensure that your company is registered correctly.


​​​​​​​The cost of registering a company in Australia varies depending on the type of company and the method of registration. The basic fee for registering a proprietary limited company (Pty Ltd) through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website is currently $487, which includes the fee for registering the company and the fee for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and a Tax File Number (TFN).
However, if you choose to use a private service provider to register your company, there may be additional costs involved, such as legal fees and services charges. Additionally, there may be ongoing fees for maintaining your company, such as the cost of preparing and lodging annual reports and other required paperwork.

The cost of holding a company in Australia depends on several factors, including the size and type of the company, the number of employees, and the level of activity. Some of the costs associated with holding a company in Australia include:
Annual reporting fees: Companies in Australia are required to file annual reports with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and the fee for this varies depending on the size of the company.

  • Accountancy fees: If you use an accountant to manage your company's finances, there will be fees for their services.
  • Legal fees: You may need to use a lawyer for various aspects of running your company, such as contracts, disputes, or mergers and acquisitions, and there will be fees for these services.
  • Insurance: Your company may need to take out insurance to protect against liability, loss, or damage, and there will be fees for this coverage.
  • Employee salaries: If your company employs staff, there will be salaries to pay, which may also include superannuation contributions and leave entitlements.
  • Rent: If your company operates from commercial premises, there will be rent to pay for the use of the space.
  • Utilities: Your company will need to pay for utilities such as electricity, water, and internet services.

It's important to consider all the costs involved in holding a company in Australia before making a decision, and to seek advice from a financial or legal professional if you have any questions or concerns.​​​​​​​

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