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How to become an expat business owner in Australia

By June 25, 2018October 17th, 2023FinGlobal

How to become an expat business owner in Australia

June 25, 2018


Moving to Australia and buying a new business is a dream for many South Africans. It doesn’t just have to be a dream however. Australia attracts many new business buyers every year and in order to make buying a business in Australia as streamlined a process as possible, it’s important to bear a few things in mind.

The Australian Business Owner (Provisional) visa

In order to buy a business in Australia, you need to apply for and be granted a visa. The Australian Business Owner (Provisional) Visa is available to successful business owners under the age of 45 or those under the age of 55 if they are eligible for the State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional) visa. To apply for this visa, applicants must submit their business proposal along with their visa application as well as demonstrate they have the necessary assets to settle in Australia. This visa is valid for four years and allows the holder to own or part own an Australian business.

The benefits of this visa include:

  • Establishing a new or existing business in Australia
  • Being able to travel in and out of Australia any number of times as long as the visa is valid
  • Have your family accompany you to Australia. They will have access to work and study rights
  • Establish a pathway to permanent residence

Visa requirements

  • Financial

In order to be eligible for this visa you must have had an overall successful business career. You (or you and your spouse together) must have net assets in a qualifying business to the value of AUD$200 000 for at least two of the four fiscal years prior to application. Your annual turnover needs to be at least AUD$500 000 in two of the four fiscal years immediately before your application. Your business and personal assets (including your spouse) must have a net value of at least AUD$800,000 and these must be available for the conducting of or establishment of a business in Australia. These assets must be lawfully acquired and available for transfer to Australia within 2 years of your visa being granted.

  • Personal

You will also need to have vocational English and you and your spouse should not have a history of involvement in a business or investment activities of a nature that is not generally acceptable in Australia. You also need to have a genuine and realistic commitment to establish or participate actively in a qualifying business in Australia and be able to maintain and hold a substantial ownership level.

  • A qualifying business

The business you plan to own must not be a property rental company and must not be operated for the purpose of speculative or passive investment. Instead, it must provide goods or services to the Australian public and you must have demonstrated that there is a need to be temporarily in Australia to conduct or establish the business activity.

If you are a South African planning to move to Australia or living in Australia and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances by financially emigrating, want to access your South African retirement annuity or make use of our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today.


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