The idea of buying a business in Australia is a dream to many. It can provide a lifestyle and earn you a living at the same time. Whether you are considering moving to Australia from India, China, Pakistan, USA, England, Vietnam, South Africa or any part of the world you require a visa to own a business. Understanding which visa and your limitations is important.
If you are an entrepreneur at heart and want to start a business or want to buy an existing business you will require a business innovation and investment visa. This will allow you to operate and own a business anywhere in Australia from a regional town to a capital city.
“This visa allows you to own and manage a business in Australia, conduct business and investment activity in Australia or undertake an entrepreneurial activity in Australia” Department of Home Affairs
There are 5 main streams to this visa type
Business Innovation stream- This provisional visa is for people with business skills. It lets you operate a new or existing business in Australia.
Investor stream - This provisional visa requires you to invest at least AUD1.5 million in an Australian State or Territory and maintain business or investment activity in Australia.
Significant Investor stream - This provisional visa is for people who invest at least AUD5 million in Australian investments that meet certain requirements and maintain investment activity in Australia.
Premium Investor stream - This provisional visa is for people who are nominated by Austrade and who invest at least AUD15 million in Australian investments and/or philanthropic contributions.
Entrepreneur stream - This provisional visa lets you carry out entrepreneurial activities in Australia. You must have a funding agreement with a third party to carry out entrepreneurial activities.
Now here is the tricky part, you need to be nominated by a state or territory government before you can apply for any of these visa steams. This is so the state basically says “yes, we approve there are businesses available and this person has the skills to run one”
According to Home Affairs Website, Generally, you’ll need to follow these steps:
Submit an expression of interest through the Department of Home Affairs’ SkillSelect online service.
See if a state or territory government or the CEO of Austrade decides to invite you to apply for a visa. You can wait for a state or territory government to contact you, or you can contact them directly.
If you receive an invitation, you can then apply for a visa. You’ll need to meet certain requirements and provide documents to support your application.
Once you have a Provisional Visa there are options to apply for extensions and a permanent visa.
This visa allows you to establish a new or develop an existing business in Australia.
There are 2 streams to this visa
Significant Business History stream
a net value of at least AUD1.5 million (lawfully acquired)
an annual business turnover of at least AUD3 million for at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
a total net assets of at least AUD400,000 as the ownership interest in one or more qualifying businesses for least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream
This visa is for people who have sourced venture capital funding from a member of the Australian Investment Council (AIC) (formerly known as the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL)).
You must have funding of at least AUD1 million from an Australian venture capital firm.
This visa requires you to have lived in Australia on a valid visa for at least 12 months. You must also have owned and operated a business in Australia for at least 2 years. So if this is your first time coming to Australia this may not be relevant to you.
Similar to the Business Owner visa, this applies to people who are already based within Australia. This visa is for people who own and manage a business in Australia. It allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely.
The home affairs website tends to put average processing times for each visa. It’s seems the majority of the business visas don’t currently have timings. Typically provisional and permanant Australian visas can be 12-24 months.
Visas are time consuming and costly. If you want to pursue your dream of buying a business in Australia. Its important you seek the help from an Immigration Lawyer such as Mark Northam and AssociatesThere could be options for you to come on another visa whilst you find a business, and then transferring onto a business visa. A specialist immigration lawyer is the best person to speak to.
Home affairs is regularly updating their list of visas and the requirements. Its important you check the current list of visa to see the costs and eligibility.