Australian Corporate Compliance Requirements

Understand the Australian Corporate Compliance Requirements that apply to the various stages of company formation, including pre-registration and post-registration.


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    Table of Contents

    Australian Corporate Compliance Requirements

    For Australian businesses, following legal and regulatory requirements is crucial when it comes to corporate governance. Comprehending the complex regulatory environment—both before and during business registration—is essential. We explore the complexities of corporate compliance for Australian firms in this extensive book, providing all the essential information you want. Let’s take a closer look at these prerequisites.

    Requirements For Australian Company Setup

    Name of Company and Business

    The process of forming a corporation begins with choosing a suitable name. In Australia, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is in charge of maintaining the registration of company and business names. To make sure your selected name is available and distinctive, it’s wise to do a name search on the ASIC website.

    Disclosure of Directors’ Personal Information

    ASIC must be notified by a corporation of the name, birthdate, and residence address of each of its directors. Accountability and traceability are guaranteed by this openness.


    In proprietary limited corporations (Pty Ltd), a minimum of one director who resides in Australia is required. Public businesses with the suffix Limited or Ltd need two directors, who must both be citizens of Australia. To qualify as a director, a person has to:

    • be at least eighteen years old.
    • not be barred from managing companies unless ASIC or a judge gives permission.

    Registered Office

    A registered office is a requirement for all Australian businesses. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO), ASIC, and other regulatory agencies may be contacted at this location. Additionally, it is the place where legal papers are served.

    Registered Office Location

    The company’s functioning or trading location serves as its major place of business. This location functions as the principal point of contact for suppliers and customers and may vary from the registered offices.

    Company Records

    Organizations are required to keep a current list of all members and office holders as well as thorough meeting minutes that include any resolutions that are circulated

    Public Officer

    A public officer is in charge of handling tax-related duties and represents the business before the ATO. The appointed public official must fulfil certain requirements, such as being a resident of Australia and being at least eighteen years old.

    Tax File Number (TFN)

    Acquiring an Australian Business Number (ABN) from the Australian Business Register (ABR) and a Tax File Number (TFN) are usually done simultaneously since the former is necessary for tax reasons.

    Quantity of Shares

    A firm may issue any number of shares; there is no minimum requirement. A few things to think about include the number of shareholders, the initial cash infused at incorporation, and the company’s plan to increase capital

    Articles of Association

    In Australia, companies are regulated by a constitution, replaceable rules, or a mix of the two. Certain corporate entities, including special purpose corporations and public businesses with “no liability,” are required to be controlled by a constitution.

    Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN)

    Instead of an ACN, overseas corporations are awarded an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) upon registration with ASIC. A nine-digit unique identification is called an ARBN.

    Australian Company Number (ACN)

    An Australian Business Number (ACN), a special nine-digit number that is assigned upon business registration, must be shown on all company documentation.

    The ABN, or Australian Business Number

    For tax and other business reasons, company names and businesses are identified by their ABN. Usually, the ABR issues it as a two-digit prefix together with the ACN. An ABN makes it easier to verify the identification of a company, prevents PAYG tax from being applied to payments, permits the claim of GST credits, and permits the registration of Australian domain names.


    Company Name and ACN Displayed

    All business locations that are accessible to the public must have a visible display of the company’s name and ACN. The phrase “registered office” has to be written at the registered office for publicly traded corporations. This rule applies to several papers, such as written advertising, formal notifications, company letterheads, receipts, and checks.

    Licenses and Permits for Businesses

    In Australia, some commercial operations need certain licenses and permissions. Depending on the kind of company, the activity, and the area, different licenses and permissions are required. To operate lawfully, locating and obtaining the required permissions is crucial.


    Continuous Business Compliance Needs in Australia For Company Formation

    Annual General Assembly

    A minimum of one annual general meeting must be held by public corporations within five months after the conclusion of their fiscal year. A vital opportunity for shareholders to influence decisions and hear performance updates on the business is this meeting.

    Notice of Modifications

    Changes to the company name (within 14 days), company details (within 28 days or 14 days for public companies), company constitution (within 28 days), director details (names, addresses, new appointments, or resignations within 28 days), and share structure or shareholder details (usually within 28 days) are just a few of the many changes that companies must promptly notify ASIC of.


    Tax compliance and accounting

    Maintaining Financial Documents

    Businesses are required to keep accurate financial records that reflect their current financial situation. Bigger businesses are also required to provide ASIC with financial reports. Financial records must be kept for seven years.


    Reports on Annual Financials

    Financial reports must be prepared annually by large private firms. By Chapter 2M of the Corporations Act 2001, these reports must be audited, filed with ASIC within four months of the end of the fiscal year, and distributed to members in the same period.

    Financial Year

    In Australia, the financial year begins on July 1st and concludes on June 30th of the following year. For reporting and compliance, this time frame is important.

    Selection of an auditor

    The option to choose an auditor is available to directors of private corporations. Unless the appointment has been made at a general meeting, public firms are required to choose an auditor within a month after registering.

    Return of Income Tax

    Australia’s tax returns for individuals and corporations must be sent to the ATO between July 1 and October 31. To ensure that tax obligations are met, timely and correct tax returns are essential.


    Australian businesses must follow corporate compliance guidelines to conduct lawful business and uphold responsibility and openness. Penalties and legal issues may arise from noncompliance. To make sure that your business complies with all applicable compliance standards, we advise taking into account expert services like Acclime to manage these responsibilities efficiently. Understanding and fulfilling these responsibilities is essential for ethical and responsible business operations in Australia, not merely as a matter of law.


    ASIC is in charge of keeping a registry of company and business names in Australia. They also supervise the dissemination of personal information about directors and play an important role in regulating different elements of corporate compliance.

    The number of directors necessary varies depending on the type of business. Pty Ltd firms must have at least one director who lives in Australia, but public companies with the words “Limited” or “Ltd” in their name must have two directors who are both Australian residents. Directors must be at least eighteen years old and not disqualified from managing corporations unless ASIC or a judge grants authorization.

    All Australian businesses are required to have a registered office. It is the principal point of contact for regulatory organizations such as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and ASIC. Furthermore, it is the location where legal documents are served, making it critical for compliance and legal problems.

    The Australian Business Register (ABR) issues an ABN, which is required for tax purposes and business identification. TFN stands for tax filing number. These two numbers are frequently received at the same time and are necessary for a range of commercial tasks, including tax compliance.

    Holding an annual general meeting (AGM), notifying ASIC of any changes to company details, maintaining financial records, preparing and filing financial reports, selecting an auditor (for public businesses), and submitting income tax returns are all part of the yearly compliance responsibilities. Compliance with these criteria is crucial to guaranteeing legal compliance and avoiding penalties or legal complications.