Coming from overseas

If you’d like to start a business in Australia, but you’re not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you should know:

  • how to get the right visa
  • the legal and government requirements that apply to Australian businesses.

Business visas

The Department of Home Affairs is responsible for Australian business visas.

Business Innovation and Investment visas

If you have business skills and want to set up and manage a new or existing business in Australia, take a look at the Business Innovation and Investment visas.

Before you can apply for these visas, you must be nominated by a state or territory government.

Generally, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Submit an expression of interest through the Department of Home Affairs’ SkillSelect online service.
  2. See if a state or territory government decides to invite you to apply for a visa. You can wait for a state or territory government to contact you, or you can contact them directly.
  3. If you receive an invitation, apply for a visa. You’ll need to meet certain requirements and provide documents to support your application.

If you’re granted one of these provisional visas, it will be valid for four years, and you’ll have completed the first step towards getting a Business Innovation and Investment visa.

Business Talent visas

You may also be eligible for the Business Talent visa if you:

  • own or part-own an overseas business, have net business and personal assets of at least AUD $1.5 million, and an annual business turnover of at least AUD $3 million, or
  • have obtained at least AUD $1 million in venture capital funding in Australia to develop a high-value business idea.

More about business visas

For an overview of business visas, read the Department of Home Affairs’ Migration program planning levels. You may also be interested in their information about:

Starting and running a business in Australia

The money and time it takes to start and run a business in Australia varies greatly, and depends on the type of business you’d like to run and the supplies and licences you’ll need. To help you understand what’s involved, take a look at the following resources:

  • Starting a business guide – for information about business planning, different business types, and the steps you need to take to start a business in Australia.
  • Starting a company page on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission website – for information about company structures, legal obligations and Australian Company Numbers.
  • Australian Business Licensing and Information Service – for information about the government licences, permits, approvals, registrations, codes of practice, standards and guidelines you may need for your business.

Related information

Thanks for your feedback. If you have any ideas on how we can improve, we'd love to hear them.

Please provide your comments in the feedback form.

You might also be interested in