Incorporating a company in Australia and Oceania
Australia and Oceania is a region in the Pacific Ocean, south of Indonesia, the Philippines, China and Japan. It is a very diverse region in most respects — culture, economy, industry, etc. This variety of economic environments allows for a broad spectrum of possibilities for company formation, from powerful economies like Australia to smaller islands with special tax optimisation plans, such as Vanuatu.
The economic landscape of the region reflects the differences between jurisdictions in terms of development level. The two economic powerhouses are Australia and New Zealand. They are the only two countries in the region classified as the first-world nations, which means they are primarily focused on the service and, to a smaller extent, industrial sectors. Both are also major international financial aid donors. On the other hand, the other, smaller countries are mostly agrarian and industrial, relying heavily on trade with Australia, New Zealand and the USA, and many of them are the recipients of international aid.
The region of Australia and Oceania consists of 14 sovereign states, two associated states and 25 non-sovereign territories.
The sovereign states
- Marshall Islands
- Federated States of Micronesia
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands
The associated states
The non-sovereign territories are governed by countries including the USA, Indonesia, Japan, France and the UK.
One of the main business advantages of the region is the opportunity to incorporate in a Western business environment without having to deal with major competitors from Europe and Asia. Australia and New Zealand offer the same economic advantages one would find in the European Union (apart from free circulation of goods), but both are in close proximity to the markets of East and Southeast Asia.
A number of jurisdictions in the region are part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the East Asia Summit (EAS), which includes many other countries from other parts of the world, including the USA, Russia, China and India.
As well as the two major economies, there are also a number of smaller jurisdictions, which attract foreign investment through beneficial tax planning and business incorporation regimes. Many have simplified the company registration procedures for companies intending to conduct business outside the country (international business companies or IBCs, as they are known in some jurisdictions). Others offer financial benefits, such as lower or non-existent corporate tax.
Common legal business structures
As in other parts of the world, the most common type of business in Australia and Oceania is the limited liability company or LLC. Much like in Europe, this is one of the most straightforward ways to register a company and initiate the incorporation procedure, which is why most businesses in Australia and Oceania choose this legal structure. Depending on the jurisdiction, some variations may be found, e.g. the Vanuatu local limited company, which differs in both name and maintenance requirements. As the region encompasses 16 distinct jurisdictions, we strongly advise you to contact Confidus Solutions before starting to register your company in this region, even if you choose one of the simplest types of business, such as an LLC. The variations may be quite significant, and so prior consultation could save your business a lot of unnecessary complications.
Another prominent business type is the international business company, which can take several forms and names in different jurisdictions, but which, functionally, is aimed at providing tax exemptions and simplified incorporation procedures for companies that do not intend to conduct business in that jurisdiction.
Choosing a jurisdiction
Australia and Oceania offers 16 jurisdictions for your business to choose from. Whether you opt for a major economic powerhouse or an island that is particularly accommodating to specialised businesses (for example, the Marshall Islands’ foreign maritime entity) and advantageous tax planning strategies, the region will undoubtedly be able to satisfy your needs.
Top five jurisdictions
Amongst all of the jurisdictions in this region, the following five are especially advantageous for incorporating a business:
Australia is the region’s most prominent jurisdiction and the 12th-largest economy in the world by GDP. Many other countries in Oceania rely heavily on trade with Australia, since it offers a larger market than any other jurisdiction in the region. Strongly focused on the service sector, Australia is a Western economy with market access to the Pacific Ocean states.
Another first-world Western economy, New Zealand is the region’s second main player and the 53rd-largest economy in the world. Services are the most prominent economic sector here, but the primary source of exports is agriculture. New Zealand is also an essential trading partner for other states in the region.
Vanuatu is a small jurisdiction, of interest primarily because of its tax planning advantages. It offers the possibility of registering a Vanuatu international company, which has minimal incorporation requirements (no minimum capital, only one shareholder and one director required) and can be registered in a single day.
Much like Vanuatu, Tuvalu offers the option of registering an international business company, prohibited from conducting business in Tuvalu but exempt from taxes, and has a straightforward and fast registration procedure.
The Marshall Islands is famous for its Maritime Registry, which allows ships to be registered under the flag of the Marshall Islands. The quality of the maritime and port control services provided by the jurisdiction is world-renowned, making it a lot easier to conduct shipping business.
Confidus Solutions will help you evaluate all of the possible options and choose an efficient, tailored solution to achieve your personal goals. We have many years of expertise in this area and our experienced agents and lawyers can incorporate your business in any jurisdiction worldwide. If you require more information, take a look at our offered solutions or contact us for an offer unique to you.