In addition to the matters discussed above there are a number of other issues that foreign entities wishing to operate in Australia should take into consideration.
Foreigners wishing to undertake direct investment in Australia must obtain approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board. There are some exceptions where approval is not required, but the following table sets out when approval is required:
|Investment Type||Non-US Investors||US Investors|
|Vacant non-residential land||All acquisitions||All acquisitions|
|Residential real estate||All acquisitions (some exemptions apply)||All acquisitions (some exemptions apply)|
|Shares or units in Australian urban land corporations or trusts||All acquisitions||All acquisitions|
|Developed non-residential commercial real estate subject to heritage listing||Valued over AUD$5 million|
|Developed non-residential commercial real estate not subject to heritage listing||Valued over AUD$55 million|
|An interest in an Australian business||Valued over AUD$252 million||Acquisitions involving AUSFTA prescribed sensitive sectors valued over AUD$252 million.
Acquisitions not involving AUSFTA prescribed sensitive sectors valued over AUD$1,005 million.
|An interest in an offshore company that holds Australian assets or conducts a business in Australia where the Australian assets or businesses of the target company||Valued over AUD$252 million||Acquisitions involving AUSFTA prescribed sensitive sectors valued over AUD$252 million.
Acquisitions not involving AUSFTA prescribed sensitive sectors valued over AUD$1,094 million.
Where businesses interact with the general public there may also be a requirement to take out a public liability insurance policy. This insurance policy provides protection to the business owner against injuries sustained by the general public whilst on business premises. Generally public liability insurance will be a requirement under the lease of business premises.
Australia operates an open-market flexible economy with complex regulatory imposts. However, as there are Commonwealth, State and local governments there are subtle but important variations to the rules in each location in which a business operates. Seeking local advice is of great importance.