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Starting a company ($660), creating a company , forming a company or registering a company in Australia - How to start up a company, create a company, form a company or register a company in Australia - Setting up a company in Australia - company registration Australia
Please note that the information below relates to a company incorporated under the 'Australia-wide' Corporations Act ...which is, by far, the most common type of incorporated company in Australia. The information does not relate to a far more obscure and more restricted type of incorporation, namely the incorporation of an association under the state-by-state 'Associations Incorporation' legislation. Also, the information does not relate to the mere registration of a business name. Further, before reading this material, you may first want to familiarise yourself with the following Incorporator information pages -

What are 'Shelf Companies'?
Some pros & cons of registering a company.

Here are the four main ways you can go about starting, setting up, forming or registering a company in Australia -

FIRST WAY. Engage an Australian solicitor or accountant to do the setting up / registration of the company for you. They will either do all the company set up / company registration work themselves or (more commonly) outsource the set-up work to an Australian para-legal 'shelf company provider' or 'company formation agent' or 'company registration agent'.

SECOND WAY. Go directly to a traditional Australian shelf company provider or company formation agent. These are listed in the Yellow Pages under the category 'Shelf Company Services'.

THIRD WAY. Try setting-up a company yourself (in which case you will still be up for the ASIC company registration fee of $457). In this regard, people sometimes ask Incorporator "Why can't I just get the relevant company registration form from ASIC and lodge it myself?". Well you can, but there are various problems associated with this approach. Apart from the initial problems people often have in filling out the relevant company registration form correctly, there are at least two additional problems -

1. If you do no more than fill out and sign the relevant company registration form and lodge it at ASIC, then you will have sworn a false declaration and immediately be in breach of the Corporations Act (not a good way to start out!). Why? Because in signing the form you will be making a legal declaration that you already have in your possession the necessary signed written consents regarding the proposed company's proposed directorship(s), secretaryship(s) and membership(s), and that you already have in your possession the necessary signed written agreements to take up shares (including details as to the number and class of shares and the amounts to be paid and unpaid on the shares). Further, such consents and agreements are not available as forms (or otherwise) from ASIC.

2. Even if you do have the necessary consents and agreements referred to in 1. above, and even if you do correctly lodge at ASIC, if you leave it at that then you will again be in breach of the Corporations Act (again, not a great way to start out!). Why? Because the Corporations Act (sections 168 and 271(2)) requires that all Australian companies must have various registers (for example, a 'register of members') and that those registers must meet specific legal requirements (for example, see section 169 of the Corporations Act). Again, such registers are not available as forms (or otherwise) from ASIC. Furthermore -

(a) A failure to have and maintain such registers is a criminal offence (for example, as regards the register of members, see section 168(1A) of the Corporations Act). Moreover, a failure to have and maintain such registers is a criminal offence of strict liability (cf section 168(1A) of the Corporations Act). This has the consequence that certain defences which might otherwise have been available (e.g. "I wasn't at fault.") will not be available (cf. Point 6.1 of Schedule 3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995).

(b) The penalties for these criminal offences are severe. For example, if you do not have or properly maintain a compliant register of members you could be imprisoned for up to 3 months (cf. Schedule 3, Item 24, and sections 168(1)(a), 1311(1), 1311(1A)(a) of the Corporations Act).

FOURTH WAY. Use a sophisticated 'DIY' site like Incorporator (as thousands have done before you). A few facts about Incorporator -

* Cost - $660 (including GST), and including the $457 ASIC/Australian government company registration fee).

* Uses an automated online 'interview' process to guide you through the process. Then, based on the answers you supply, it immediately and automatically decides what documents are necessary, immediately and automatically draws them all up, and immediately and automatically downloads all the pre-completed documents and company registers to your PC (for a list of all the documents - forms, consents, registers, agreements and certificates - you get from Incorporator, click here) and immediately and automatically, 24/7, sends an electronic incorporation application through to ASIC. Then, generally within a few minutes, Incorporator supplies you online, 24/7, with the ACN (Australian Company Number) for the new company and the ASIC Certificate of Registration for the new company. For further information see Incorporator's FAQ's.

* Incorporator is Australian based, owned and managed and it uses its own internally developed ASIC Registered EDGE-compliant ECR (Electronic Company Registration) computer software (no. 2046) to make your company incorporation application online, 24/7.

* Available for use 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, all year round (including weekends and public holidays). This is possible because the Incorporator system is automated and online. And this in turn means that the process is private and under your control at all times.

* Incredibly simple and easy to use. And very clear. For proof of this see Incorporator's numerous testimonials (all signed, dated and, in many cases, including the customer's contact details). Or simply take a no obligation test drive now and see for yourself (there is no need to pre-register or pre-pay - simply click here and then click on 'Start Using or test-driving Incorporator Now').

* 1300 Help line available from 8am to 8pm (AEST) on any day including weekends and public holidays - phone 1300 653 373 for the cost of a local call from a landline from anywhere in Australia.

* You will have the opportunity to learn a great deal about Australian companies (types, structures etc.) and the associated incorporation procedure. Why? Because of the 'intelligent' interactive nature of the site and the extensive availability of optional 'pop-up' guidance along the way.

* Triple award winning - Australia-wide winner of the CCH Legal Technology Award for 2001, Channel Nine Small Business Show Brother Best Business Software Runner-up Award 2001, Winner Asia Pacific Qld Best IT Start Up Company Award.

* It has a related and succesful site for UK company formations.

This information has been brought to you by Incorporator.com.au - Australia's first and only automated, triple award winning, online system for the creation of any type of Australian company. Click here, or on the 'Back' or 'Continue' buttons below, to go directly to the Incorporator website home page.