(Since a change in the law effective 1 July 2003, you cannot incorporate a company
without disclosing whether or not the company will initially have an 'ultimate holding
company' - per section
of the Corporations Act 2001, and if it will, without
disclosing the identity of the company - per section
of the Corporations Act 2001.)
Loosely speaking, what this question is 'getting at' is to ascertain whether the company will initially, in effect, be owned by another company, or will be legally, or in effect, or practically, controlled by another company. Normally, the answer to this question will be 'No'. For example, in the normal situation where the sole director/secretary/member/shareholder will be simply holding the share(s) for his/her own benefit, then it is most unlikely that the proposed company could be said to have an ultimate holding company, and thus the answer to this question will most likely be 'No'.
An example of a situation where the answer to this question might be 'Yes' is where the sole member/shareholder of the proposed company will be holding the share(s) on trust for 'another' company. In that situation the 'other' company may be the 'ultimate holding company' of the proposed company.
Here is some further guidance in case you need to look into your particular situation more deeply -
An 'ultimate holding company' of a company, is a company that is itself a 'holding company' of the company, and is itself not a 'subsidiary' of another company - see section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001.
A company is a 'holding company' of another company, if the other company is a 'subsidiary' of the company - see section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001.
A company is a 'subsidiary' of another company, if (and only if) at least one of the following is the case -
For when it may be said that the other company 'controls the composition of the company's board', see section 47 of the Corporations Act 2001.
Further, various matters are to be disregarded when determining whether the company is a subsidiary of another company - see section 48 of the Corporations Act 2001.
Moreover, here are links (grouped together) to the provisions of the relevant division (Division 6) of the Corporations Act 2001 in case you need to look into your particular situation even more deeply -
Division 6 - Subsidiaries and related bodies corporate
46. What is a subsidiary
47. Control of a body corporate's board
48. Matters to be disregarded
49. References in this Division to a subsidiary
50. Related bodies corporate
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