Doing Business in Australia: Business Basics and Resources

in Small-business

With one of the world's healthiest economies, a stable Government and first-rate infrastructure and services, Australia is a great place to do business. For anyone looking to start a business, import to or develop a business relationship with the country, here's just a brief introduction to Australian business basics.

The Country

Australia has a population of around 22 million. It is a federal system of Government within which there are six States and two Territories. The national capital is Canberra, located in the Australian Capital Territory. The other State/Territory capitals are Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin.


Australian business is well regulated and conducted transparently. Major industries include manufacturing, mining, wholesale, retail, property, construction, education, health and agriculture.

Facilities and Services

Australia has excellent transport services. International airports are located in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Townsville and Cairns. There are four domestic airlines and major train and bus routes throughout the country.

Shops and businesses generally operate 9am to 5pm with extended retail trading on Thursday evenings and Saturdays. In larger centres, many retailers operate seven days a week.

Australia has excellent services and facilities with abundant five-star hotels and world-class restaurants for entertaining clients and provides exceptional conference facilities for those looking to organise larger events.


Australia's major trading partners include the United States, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

Major imports include electronics, motor vehicles, manufacturing, electrical equipment, and industrial machinery and transport equipment. Primary exports include sheep, beef, dairy, coal, grain, metal ore, oil and gas extraction and non-ferrous metal manufacturing

Business Resources

There are numerous Government organisations available to assist those looking to invest in or do business with Australia. These include: Australian Government which is the primary Government site with facts, figures and information for anyone looking to enter Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – this website is useful for introductory information on Australia. Australian Business for general business information as well as useful information on establishing e-businesses.

Austrade– Austrade is a Government organisation that provides information and assistance to international organisations looking to deal with Australia.

Customs – for information on import regulations and requirements, as well as permits and duties.

Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) – all foreign companies must register with ASIC before doing business here.

Australasian Legal Information Institute (ALII) – for information on legal matters, legal services and specific areas including Intellectual Property Law.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) - regulates national infrastructure services to ensure that businesses and individuals comply with Australian competition, fair trading and consumer protection laws.

The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) – has information and guidelines for businesses wishing to invest in Australia. All foreign proposals are assessed by The Foreign Investment Review Board.

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Michael Damian Papworth has articles online

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This article was published on 2012/05/29