3 Steps for Starting a Business in Australia If You’re Not an Australian Citizen


If you want start and run a business in Australia as a non-citizen you’ll need a specific work visa. Learn how to get the right visa for you and your obligations.

When you start a business as a non-citizen you need to make sure you know:

  • what visa you need to get
  • how to get the right visa
  • what legal and government requirements apply to Australian businesses


How to Start a business as a non-citizen


1. Understand the Australian visa process

The Department of Home Affairs is responsible for Australian business visas. If you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you’ll need a visa to work in Australia 

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– external site online service.
  2. See if a state or territory government or the CEO of Austrade 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, you can then apply for a visa. You’ll need to meet certain requirements and provide documents to support your application.


2. Find the right Australian visa for you

There are specific visa options for non-citizens who want to run a business in Australia.


Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa

If you already have business skills you might be eligible for a Business Innovation and Investment provisional visa . This provisional visa is for people with business skills. It lets you operate a new or existing business in Australia.

If you’re granted a Business Innovation and Investment provisional visa, it’ll be valid for 4 years and 3 months.

Provisional visa holders may be able to apply for a permanent visa once certain requirements are met.


Business Talent visas

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

  • nominated by a state or territory government agency
  • invited to apply for the visa
  • have the required funding or assets

This is a permanent visa. There are 2 types of business talent visas.


Significant business history stream

This is for experienced business owners looking to operate a new or existing business in Australia.

To be eligible you need to have:

  • a net value of at least AUD $1.5 million
  • an annual business turnover of at least AUD $3 million


Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream

This is for business people who are looking at starting a new business in Australia and have sourced venture capital funding from a member of the Australian Investment Council 

To be eligible you need to have at least AUD $1 million in venture capital funding in Australia to develop a high-value business idea.

For more information and help on what business visa you should apply for go to the Explore your visa options on the Home Affairs website.

If you aren’t sure which visa you need, find a registered migration agent to help you.


3. Set up your business in Australia

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

  • Guide to starting a business – provides information about business planning, different business types, and the steps to take to start a business in Australia.
  • Legal essentials for your business – this covers common legal areas you may need to comply with when running a business in Australia.
  • Starting a company  – this provides information about company structures, legal obligations and Australian Company Numbers.
  • Australian Business Licence and Information Service  – a service that provides information about the government:
    • licences
    • permits
    • approvals
    • registrations
    • codes of practice
    • standards and guidelines

As a non-citizen, you will face some additional work and potential challenges.

However, these obstacles are by no means insurmountable when you enlist the help of trusted professionals to guide you through the process.

Seek the expertise of Migration lawyers, Commercial lawyers, Employment lawyers and Property lawyers of No Borders Law Group as we are familiar with helping international citizens and foreigners start businesses in Australia. Our legal teams have knowledge and experience with starting businesses in a vast range of industries, and can provide valuable guidance as you explore entrepreneurship in this land of opportunity. 



Email: [email protected]

Tel:  +61 7 3876 4000

Consultation:  https://www.noborders-group.com/form/free-consultation


We will help you by exploring visa options and securing application. As part of our services, we will assess the eligibility of the application for a partner visa and help you to get out of the abusive relationship and provide you with detailed advice on your chances of success. If you would like to discuss your visa options and evaluate the pathway to permanent residency, please make an enquiry  or  book a consultation to get expert advice with one of our knowledgeable and experienced Migration Agents/Lawyers on 07 3876 4000 or email: [email protected].




Retrieved from: https://business.gov.au/planning/new-businesses/start-a-business-as-a-non-citizen

Last Updated: 24 December 2020

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