Australia’s Business Migration Program

The following general information relates to the Business Skills Migration Program.

Australia has for many decades encouraged and welcomed as migrants those who have proven entrepreneurial skills.  This is because they benefit Australia in so many respects – such as developing international markets, create employment, introduce new or improved technology and increase competitiveness within sectors of the Australian economy.

Most Business Skills migrants initially enter Australia on a provisional (temporary) visa for four years.  They may be Business Owners, Senior Executives or Investors.  The objective for such migrants is to obtain a permanent visa which confers permanent residency status.  Permanent Residency Status can only be achieved if the migrant becomes involved in genuine business and /or investment activity.  This will usually require the business migrant to take an equity position in an established or start up business and remain involved in the daily management of the business or control of their investment activity .  So the business migrant must use the term of the four year temporary visa to obtain an ownership interest in a business in Australia or maintain their investment in Australia for four years.  If they fail to meet this requirement then they will not be eligible to apply for a Business Skills Permanent (Residence) visa and may have to leave Australia.

Buying an existing business with the assistance of a local Business Broker who knows your desired migration area and the history and potential of a range of established business for sale in this area could fast track your requirements for business investment.
Most Business Brokers act on behalf of the business owners who pay their fee so there is no fee to the buyer,
AIBB™ Business Brokers who have graduated the Institute’s Certified Practicing Business Brokers (CPBB™) training and accreditation course offer the following assistance to business migrants:
  • Pre-screening businesses for you.  AIBB™ Business Brokers turn down many of the businesses they are asked to sell, whether because the seller won't provide full financial disclosures or because the business is overpriced or a myriad of other reasons.  Going through an AIBB™ CPBB™ accredited business broker helps you avoid these bad risks.
  • Helping you pinpoint your interest. Your local AIBB™ member will start by finding out about your skills and interests, and then helps you select the right business for you. With the help of your AIBB™ Business Broker, you may discover that an industry you had never considered is the ideal one for you.
  • Negotiating. The negotiating process is really when Business Brokers really earn their keep. AIBB™ CPBB™ accredited business brokers are experts in assisting both parties stay focused on the ultimate goal and smooth over any problems that may arise during the sale or contract phase.
  • Assisting with paperwork.  Your local AIBB™ Business Broker knows the latest legal and regulatory requirements that can affect everything from licenses and permits to financing and business contracts. They also know the most efficient ways to cut through red tape, which can slash months off the purchase process. Working with your AIBB™ CPBB™ accredited Business Broker reduces the risk that you'll overlook some crucial form, fee or step in the sale or contract process.
Working with your AIBB™ accredited Business Broker highlights many good reasons why buying an existing business could  be a good business decision  for you.  Remember though, that you will be taking on the legacy of the previous business owner, and you need to be aware of every aspect of the business you're about to buy. Your AIBB™ Business Broker is bound by the Institute’s Code of Conduct giving you the security of knowing that they have a “duty of care” to all parties.
Some of the advantages of buying an Existing Pre Qualified business are:
·         Much of the groundwork to get the business up and running will have been done.
·         It may be easier to obtain finance as the business will have a proven track record.
·         A market for the product or service will have already been demonstrated.
·         There may be established customers, a reliable income, a reputation to capitalise and build on and a useful network of contacts.
·         A business plan and marketing method should already be in place.
·         Existing employees should have experience you can draw on.
·         Many of the problems will have been discovered and solved already.

The various States and Territories of Australia have a large role to play in this area of migration in terms of sponsorship.  Nearly 96% of Business Skills migrants are State sponsored.  This is because States and Territories are keen to attract certain types of businesses or investment activity into their economies.  Concessional criteria will apply to business migrants who are granted State or Territory sponsorship.

Business Skills visa categories:

Business Skills (Provisional) visas comprise:

  • Business Owner (Provisional)(subclass 160/163) is for people with a successful business career, including senior management or ownership, who have significant business assets and have a genuine and realistic commitment to participate as a principal in the management of a new or existing business. Applicants in this category may be sponsored by a state or territory government.
  • Senior Executive (Provisional)(subclass 161/164) is for senior executive employees of major overseas businesses who have been responsible for strategic policy development affecting a major component or a wide range of operations of that business, who have significant net assets and a genuine and realistic commitment to participate as a principal in the management of a new or existing business. Applicants in this category may be sponsored by a state or territory government.
  • Investor (Provisional) (subclass 162/165) is for investors/business people who have an overall successful record of business or investment activities, have significant net assets, are willing to invest funds in a designated investment in Australia for four years and have a genuine commitment to maintain business and investment activity in Australia. Applicants in this category may be sponsored by a state or territory government.

Business Skills Permanent (Residence) visas comprise:

  • Business Owner (Residence) (subclass 890/892) is for people who hold a Business Skills (Provisional) visa and have had an ownership interest in a business in Australia for at least two years with significant personal and business assets turnover, as well as a minimum number of employees. Applicants must have been in Australia for at least one year in the two years immediately before applying. Applicants in this category may be sponsored by a state or territory government.
  • Investor (Residence) (subclass 891/893) is for people who have held an Investor (Provisional) visa and a designated investment for the minimum four years, and who have lived in Australia for at least two years in the four years immediately before the application is made. Applicants in this category may be sponsored by a state or territory government.

 NB: The preceeding information is provided as general information only.  Readers considering migration to Australia shoud consult a Registered Migration Agent for professional advice before taking any action.