• Gather personal details
  • Do they ordinarily reside in Australia (you need at least 1)
  • Can they act as director
    • Are they a bankrupt
    • Is directorship subject to professional or licencing rules
  • Do they hold assets in their own name
  • Will assets be exposed to business risk


  • Gather personal details
  • Is the person a at risk person because of what they do day to day hence exposing the shares
  • Are they a high income earner, will any dividends paid to them be tax effective
  • Do any professional or regulatory rules govern the ownership of shares in the company
  • Is the shareholder a Foreign Company? If yes consider ASIC rules on the matter and consult an accountant

Share rights

  • Review company constitution and identify share classes available
  • Consider which shareholders should have voting rights, as this will impact who controls the company
  • Consider which shareholders should have dividend rights, as this will dictate how money comes out
  • Consider which shareholders should have both
  • How will business profits be distributed, and will the taxation be an issue.

Consider how income rights can help you manage the situation

Registered Office

  • Is my Registered Office open and accessible 9-5 Monday to Friday to the public
  • Does my Registered Office have safe and regular mail delivery
  • Does my Registered Office have procedures for the acceptance and service of formal and legal notices
  • Will my company likely have legal dealings
  • Consider using a professional registered office service
  • If your Registered Office is actually the office of a professional, like your Accountant, then make sure they have consented.

Company name

  • Check ASIC to see if your name is available
  • Check IP Australia and make sure your name does not infringe on any Trademark
  • Make sure an appropriate internet domain is free if you want a web site
  • Reserve the name if you’re not quite ready to go


  • Apply for a Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Apply for a Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Register for Pay as you go Withholding (PAYG) if you will have employees
  • Talk to accountant about the rest


For setting up companies

Company Name Search

Trademark Search

Domain Names

Reserving a Company Name

Expert Taxation advice