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Choosing a business structure

Anyone establishing a business in Sydney and NSW first needs to decide on the right business structure. There are generally four to choose from: sole trader, partnership, trust, or company. Each of these options has different advantages, requirements and responsibilities.

How you set up as a sole trader, trust or partnership in NSW

All sole traders, trusts and partnerships need to take certain steps.

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Step 1 — Register a business name and apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and tax registrations
You can do this at the Business Registration Service.

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Step 2 — Register your intellectual property domain name
Registering your intellectual property (IP) will let you take advantage of Australia’s world-leading IP laws. Visit IP Australia to search patents, trademarks, designs and more. Register your domain name at Register a website name.

How you set up as a company in Sydney and NSW

You’ll generally have a few choices if you want to set up a company in NSW. You can:

Purple icon map of Australia with NSW highlighted in white

1. Establish an Australian company
Register your company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). You can choose to establish a new Australian company or subsidiary, even as an overseas investor.

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2. Register as a foreign company
You can choose to continue business in Australia as a foreign company, so long as you register with ASIC. If you require assistance, we can provide further advice or answer any questions.

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3. Acquire an Australian company
You have the option of acquiring an existing Australian company. However, takeovers and acquisitions usually need to be approved by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.

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4. List on Australian Stock Exchange (ASX)
The ASX is one of the world’s leading stock exchanges and the perfect place to list for the Asia-Pacific region.

Sources: Australian Trade and Investment Commission, Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, Australian Stock Exchange

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Explore more information about establishing your business in NSW on our Guides and Assistance page.