Safe, stable and prosperous, Australia is one of the easiest places in the world to do business.
We offer competitive tax rates, generous government incentives, and transparent regulation. We actively welcome international investment and we’re one of the world’s ultimate test markets. This all comes on top of our highly educated and talented workforce, our connections to global markets and our passion for innovation.
Australia ranks 10th in the world for rule of law and 15th in the world for political stability
Our supportive business environment
Free, stable and prosperous, Australia is a secure base for your new venture or expanding your existing business.
In Australia, fair and effective governance is seen as the foundation for economic growth and a free society. Our transparent and dependable institutions give businesses the confidence their investments will be protected. We are one of only nine countries to hold a AAA credit rating.
It’s easy to do business in Australia
Australia has a clear set of rules – but we aren’t over governed. We have the processes in place to make it easier to unleash the entrepreneurship of private enterprise and grow your business. Just ask the OECD, which noted in 2021 that ‘Australia offers a favourable administrative and regulatory framework for entrepreneurship, especially regarding the costs of starting a business’.
Australia ranks 1st in the world for financial freedom
Australia ranks 2nd in the world for judicial effectiveness
Australia ranks 2nd in the world for monetary freedom
Australia ranks 3rd in the world for trade freedom
Global top 10 for high-income households
Australia is a large consumer market and Australian households enjoy high disposable incomes. Per capita, we are one of the richest economies in the world. And Australians embrace new technology – making us an ideal test market for your innovations.
Australia has the highest median wealth of any major economy
Australia had the 3rd highest growth in disposable household income in the OECD to Q3 2021
Source: OECD data
Supporting priority sectors
Australia is supporting priority sectors that can deliver economic and strategic benefits.
We’re throwing our weight behind thinkers and business leaders, investing billions in skills, innovation and critical infrastructure to transform industry.
Our policies will propel us to be a top 10 digital economy by 2030, spearheading emerging technologies like quantum and AI, a leading new energy economy underpinned by our commitment to net zero, and a booming modern high-value manufacturing industry across critical sectors of medical products, food and beverage, recycling and clean energy, resources, defence and space.
Our comprehensive package of support for business through the COVID-19 pandemic has seen our economy recover faster than any of our peers. We were the first for employment to recover to pre-pandemic levels, compared to any major advanced economy. And our March 2022 quarter GDP was 4.5% above pre-pandemic levels – outperforming every major advanced economy.
Billions in grants and incentives on offer to Australian-based companies
We offer nearly A$70 billion in federal, state and local grants, incentives and funding pools to Australian-based companies.
There are grants and incentives at an economy wide-level, through states and territories, and for specific industries.
You can get information on grants, services and support from across government to help businesses succeed from business.gov.au.
Find out more about how we help through grants and incentives
Low tax rate for high value activities
Australia is in the top 10 most competitive taxed countries in the OECD.
We offer Australian-based business a generous system of concessions that reward high value commercial activities. A report prepared by Accenture found that the average effective corporate tax rate is 20.6%, far lower than the top nominal statutory rate of 30%.
The smart menu of deductions and incentives that Australia's tax system offers includes tax-based incentives and offsets, and a generous asset depreciation regime.
All foreign businesses that come through the Taskforce can access fast and tailored tax guidance from the Australian Tax Office through the New Investment Engagement Service. You can ask them to help you understand the potential tax risks arising from significant commercial transactions and proposed investments.
According to Accenture, our corporate tax system performs better than or equal to peer economies when compared on key levers, such as expense deductibility, depreciation and R&D tax subsidy.
Generous R&D incentives
Australia provides generous incentives to encourage firms to engage in valuable R&D activities. Australia’s R&D Tax Incentive delivers almost A$3 billion a year to eligible companies. From 1 July 2021:
- Eligible small companies (those with aggregated turnover of less than A$20 million) can claim a refundable tax offset equal to their corporate tax rate, plus a premium of 18.5%.
- Eligible larger companies can claim a non-refundable tax offset equal to their corporate tax rate, plus an incremental premium of 8.5% for R&D expenditure representing up to 2% of their total business expenditure, and 16.5% for R&D expenditure representing greater than 2% of their total business expenditure.
- For all claimants the R&D expenditure threshold is A$150 million per annum.
Additional concessional levers
Businesses in priority areas may be able to access additional tax concessions potentially lowering effective rates further.
- Companies investing in their future through capital expenditure can benefit from generous depreciation rules.
- Small and medium companies with aggregated turnover up to A$50 million (including their connected entities) pay a base corporate tax rate of 25%, instead of 30%.
Rewarding employees and investors
Employees and investors can also claim tax concessions.
- Australia only taxes corporate profits once – while many countries tax company profits twice under both corporate and personal tax regimes. This means an individual shareholder’s after-tax income is up to 43% higher due to dividend imputation.
- Australia’s superannuation policies allow companies to reward employees without impacting personal tax rates.
- Australia offers a range of schemes to attract international investment into Australian firms, including favourable capital gains tax rules and bilateral tax treaties which reduce withholding tax.
Australia provides tax concessions to promote employee share ownership through employee share schemes.
Tax concessions for venture capital
The Australian Government offers tax concessions to encourage venture capital, particularly from foreign investors.
- A venture capital limited partnership (VCLP) offers tax benefits for investors and fund managers. Benefits include flow-through tax treatment, an exemption for eligible foreign investors from income tax on their share of profits on the disposal of eligible venture capital investments by the VCLP, and taxing fund managers on their carried interest in the VCLP on capital account.
- An early stage venture capital limited partnership (ESVCLP) is a venture capital fund structured as a limited partnership that makes equity investments in eligible Australian start-up and growth companies. Benefits include flow-through tax treatment, and income tax exemption for limited partners on some or all of the returns made by the ESVCLP on the disposal of eligible venture capital investments and other income earned on the eligible venture capital investments. Limited partners may also be eligible to receive a tax offset based on their contribution of capital to an ESVCLP in a given year. The carried interests of fund managers in the ESVCLP are taxed on capital account.
Understanding business in Australia
Australians are renowned as open, friendly and straight-talking people, and it’s the same in our business dealings. We may have a laid-back reputation, but we know how to work hard. We’re also honest, fair, and not overly formal or hierarchical in our business culture.
Australia is a constitutional monarchy with a strong democratic tradition and rule of law. Our national government strongly supports business and industry.
There are eight states and territories, each with their own regulations for business, as well as support for new investment.
To support foreign investment, government agency Austrade provides advice on all aspects of the Australian business environment along with our laws and regulations. If you qualify for Taskforce support, we can help you navigate Australia’s landscape of opportunity.
Helping you understand your obligations
- Companies in Australia are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
- Some foreign investments in Australia require approval and are managed through Australia’s foreign investment review framework. The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) website has guidance about foreign investment in Australia.
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission promotes compliance with Australian competition, fair trading, and consumer protection laws.
- The Fair Work Ombudsman and the Fair Work Commission support our national standards of employment for all Australian employees.
- All employees must be paid superannuation – money to provide for retirement. The Australian Tax Office has information on employers’ responsibilities for superannuation.
The Australian Government will simplify the tax residency rules to reduce compliance costs and provide greater certainty.
We’re here to help you navigate the system
We’re here to help you get started and connect you with government, legal and business networks to support your transition.