Can a UK citizen start a business in Australia?


If you’re a UK citizen with a global mindset, you’ve no doubt noticed there are abundant business opportunities in Australia.  Perhaps you’re wondering if a UK citizen can legally start a business in Australia.

The answer to this question is yes!

The UK and Australia are active trade partners. The two countries mutually benefit from a high level of cooperation in both trade and economic matters – and UK investors are already doing a significant amount of business in Australia. Australia’s McKell Institute reports that UK investors provided the fifth greatest source of direct foreign investment into Australia in 2016.

Officials have already signed a couple of recent trade agreements between the two nations, including a Mutual Recognition Agreement and a bilateral Wine Agreement. More extensive trade agreements are in development.

In particular, the two governments are currently in the process of working to enact a more comprehensive Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement to encourage even greater future cooperation.

This type of agreement depends on the outcome of Brexit, because it cannot be finalised until Brexit has been completed. But if it happens, experts predict that it will greatly advance the flow of commerce between the two countries. It is also likely to increase the number and quality of business opportunities for the UK’s entrepreneurs in Australia.

Not only is it possible for a UK citizen to start a business in Australia, there are actually government resources available to encourage cross-border collaboration between these two regions. One prime example is the Australian Trade and Investment Commission. If you’re a British investor who is seeking business opportunities in Australia, you’ll likely find it beneficial to contact the London branch of the Austrade organisation. This organisation maintains a global network of offices, and their contacts may prove invaluable to you as you set up and launch your new venture. You can email or send a fax to them on 020 7632 0098 if you wish to get in touch.

Another example is the Department for International Trade. Their contact info is as follows:


Tel: +61 (0) 2 9247 7521

Exporting Goods and Services to Australia From the UK

The McKell Institute reports on the type of goods that are most commonly being exported from the UK to Australia. These include passenger motor vehicles, medications, veterinary medicines, pharmaceutical products and alcoholic beverages.

However, the current trade between our two nations for services is even more significant than our trade in goods. Our two nations currently conduct trade for insurance services, consultancy services, research and development services, royalties and licensing services, and government services.

The outlook is favourable for British or Irish companies who wish to export products or services to Australia. If this is the type of business you wish to start, you can contact the appropriate government trade organization to obtain information regarding the relevant regulations you need to know about:

More Things You Need to Know About Starting a Business in Australia

  • Booming sectors of the Australian economy offer better-than-average prospects for entrepreneurs. Some of these high-opportunity sectors include technology, engineering, trades, healthcare and mining.
  • Australia trains her citizens via a respected university system offering world-class business courses, mentoring programmes and professional networks. This provides you with prospects for a talented and well-educated workforce should you find yourself with a need to hire employees locally in Australia.
  • Australia, like many other countries, does suffer from a skills shortage in some occupations — specifically, construction trades, skilled trades and engineering trades. If you plan to start a business in one of these niches, be aware that you may be unsuccessful at finding qualified help in Australia. But don’t let that stop you; you have options for dealing with this, including providing training to prospective employees or recruiting, training and relocating prospective employees from the UK.

Those are some of the considerations you need to be aware of if you’re thinking you’d like to start a business in Australia. Given the right business idea and team to execute it, the current conditions are favourable; and circumstances seem poised to become even more agreeable for UK-owned businesses in Australia in the future.