Legal requirements for companies
If you want to set up a company you’ll need to complete the registration process with ASIC and check that your company complies with its obligations under Australian law. Here we outline your legal requirements.
- Set up a registered office, place of business and directors
- Create and maintain your business name
- Update ASIC on key changes
- Keep financial records
- Pay fees to ASIC
- Check annual statements
- Get professional advice if you need it
You will need to set up a current registered office as ASIC will use this address to send documents to the company. Your principal place of business will be the location from which your company operates its business.
A company must also inform ASIC of the name, date of birth and current residential address of all directors.
Find out more on our checklist for registering a company.
Company directors must also personally comply with obligations under Australian law. Find out more about company director obligations for small business.
If the company conducts business using a business name, you must ensure that the business name is registered and renewed when registration expires (every one or three years). ASIC will send the company a business name renewal notice 30 days before the renewal is due.
You must notify ASIC of changes to the company’s registered office, principal place of business, directors and business names within 28 days to avoid late fees.
Read more on how to update your company details with ASIC.
A company must keep up-to-date financial records that correctly record and explain transactions and the company’s financial position. Larger companies have additional obligations to lodge financial reports with ASIC.
Fees that companies must pay ASIC include company registration fees, annual review fees, lodgement fees and late fees. Find out more about ASIC fees.
Each year, ASIC will send your company an annual statement. To remain a registered company, you will need to check the details on your company statement and update any changes with ASIC, pay the associated annual company review fee, and pass a solvency resolution stating that you have reasonable grounds to believe that the company will be able to pay its debts as and when they become due and payable.
Find out more about annual statements.
Make sure you get trusted professional advice if you are uncertain about your legal obligations. Business.gov.au has some great tips on how to find a business adviser.