Lansdowne Financial provides Resident Director services for international companies expanding their operations to Australia.
We help your business meet all legal & regulatory requirements, and guide you through the Company Setup process.
Once established, we provide ongoing commercial support to help you optimise your performance in the Australian market.
We work with you to set up your company and have you ready to do business faster.
By Australian law every Company operating in Australia must have an Australian Resident registered as a Director.
For most Australian businesses, this is not an issue as the owners / Directors already reside in Australia. For overseas or internationally based businesses – they need to appoint an Australian Resident Director as part of the company setup process.
International Companies can offer this role to their own staff – or else use the services of a firm such as Lansdowne Financial that specialises in this area. At Lansdowne, we take on the role of Resident Director to help you satisfy this requirement. Often referred to as a Nominee Director or Non-Executive Director, the role effectively carries the same responsibilities as would any other full-time working Director.
Accounting firms or solicitors may also provide this service as an add-on to their core offering. Our experience is that engaging a specialist in this area is typically the most efficient, and ultimately the most cost effective way forward for most businesses.
The desired level of involvement from your Resident Director will vary from business to business. You already have an intimate understanding of the workings of your business. Likewise your Resident Director should bring a deep understanding of the Australian Business environment & the regulatory framework under which it will operate.
Your first six months will see your Resident Director play a key role in getting your business up & running in Australia. We ensure you meet all legal & regulatory requirements, including setting up various Business Registrations, Tax File Numbers, Opening Bank Accounts etc.
Once Setup – the Resident Director will play a compliance role as a minimum – signing off on accounts & tax returns, assisting with Company Secretarial & Public Officer responsibilities, signing contracts and so on.
At Lansdowne, for many of our clients we also play a more in-depth role assisting with ongoing commercial support – acting as your local / virtual CFO. We can assist with a range of other business administration & support services, but always tailor our level of involvement to match their business needs.
Trusted advisers operating businesses in Australia for over 30 years, we can best meet your needs.
Unlike a firm of solicitors or accountants extending their product offering, Lansdowne’s core focus is working with you to deliver a quick and successful entry into the Australian market. We ensure your launch and ongoing operations in Australia go smoothly and are as streamlined as possible.
Our Resident Director Services are led by Tony Kearney, who has over 30 years’ experience in senior finance & management roles – working with businesses of all sizes across a range of industries. Tony has held Executive Director-level positions with global and multi-national companies, as well as spending many years working with start-up & small-medium enterprises expanding into Australia. Tony has a passion for innovation and optimising business performance, but his primary focus is his relationship with you. As such, he handles most roles personally rather than delegating to support staff.
That said, the Lansdowne team still takes a hands-on practical approach in supporting your business set-up and growth in Australia. The primary focus of our Australian resident director services is to shoulder the burden of the regulatory environment, allowing you to focus on fast-tracking your business growth.
Longer term, we get to know your businesses in greater detail and add our local knowledge and experience to provide ongoing advice similar to that of a local CFO. For many, we work with accounting firms, lawyers, tax advisers etc and work with overseas head offices. Over time, we become your trusted adviser, forging long-term relationships with your management teams, both locally and overseas.
Lansdowne Financial includes all of the below within their standard Resident Director service offering.
Our fees are competitive and based on a flat rate per annum. Occasionally, business needs dictate a heavier involvement or greater support from Lansdowne, however no additional fees are added. No hidden extras, no surprises.
We add value to your business, not just meet a legal requirement. Our goal is to support our clients grow and succeed in the Australian environment by developing close working relationships based on professionalism, pragmatism, commercial capability, speed and honesty.
For businesses expanding into, or starting a new venture in Australia, it is important to contain costs while you establish your brand and grow your customer base. Our cost-effective Australian resident director services will ensure you focus on growing your business whilst keeping your back-office and compliance costs to a minimum.
With their practical and extensive business knowledge, our nominee resident directors will keep your company compliant at all times with Australian Corporate Law.
As your trusted adviser, we understand the critical importance of business confidentiality in all our dealings, with all of our engagements providing a confidentiality / non-disclosure agreement as an integral part of the engagement.
We have experience working with businesses of all shapes & sizes. Talk to us about your needs and see how we can help.
The Australian Corporations Act 2001 (Section 201A) requires all companies registered in Australia to have local Australian representation on their board of Directors. Private companies must have at least one director that resides in Australia. Public companies must have a minimum of three directors, of which two are ordinarily resident in Australia.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) will not allow a company to either be registered or controlled solely by foreign residents. They will examine the company structure to identify the individuals in control of the business, and will hold those individuals accountable for the company’s actions or inactions.
Should a company not have the required number of resident directors, it will be in breach of the Corporations Act 2001. By not meeting its statutory obligations, it will incur penalties for non-compliance and will ultimately be wound up.
To be eligible to be an Australian resident director of a company, you must first be a permanent resident of Australia.
In addition, you must be above eighteen years of age and must consent in writing to take on the role and responsibilities of a director.
Permanent residents are individuals with a valid Australian visa that entitles them to remain in Australia indefinitely.
Yes. Companies have the option to choose between using an external Australian provider of Resident Director services, or appointing their own locally resident staff member.
It is important to note that this appointment imposes certain duties, risks, and obligations onto that individual. Should a staff member be appointed, it is vital that the individual be suitably qualified to understand the responsibilities of the role. You should also ensure that they are aware of the exposure and personal risks involved in accepting such a responsibility.
Most Companies address these inherent risks by relying on Australian resident director services provided by experienced professional firms, such as Lansdowne Financial. This allows their key Australian staff to focus on their customers and growing their business rather than be distracted attempting to comply with legal and administrative requirements.
Our Australian resident director services are a cost-effective and practical solution that meets all the requirements for appointing an Australian resident director.
Directors of Australian companies, both local and overseas, jointly take responsibility for the governance and management of the business. The resident director, although primarily a non-executive role, nevertheless carries the same risks and responsibilities as if they were actively involved in the business.
Resident Directors in Australia will typically be involved in activities such as signing major contracts, agreements, opening bank accounts, etc. Every year, they will review and sign accounts and tax returns, ensure transfer pricing compliance, and company solvency. They will also perform company secretarial, public officer and other fiduciary and administrative duties as required.
The risks are actually higher for local directors, as they automatically fall within the jurisdiction of the Australian legal system. Actions taken against overseas directors tend to be difficult and expensive, hence most claims will target the local director first.
All Directors carry a legal and financial responsibility for the oversight and management of the company and are responsible to ensure that the company complies with all of its corporate responsibilities, including its legal, ethical, Health and Safety, compliance and financial responsibilities.
Directors are often held personally liable for actions or inactions of the company in this regard. As such, it is vital that all directors are fully informed as to their roles and responsibilities and have the necessary professional experience to carry out their roles competently in this regard.
Given the obligations and liabilities associated with being a resident director, we need to be very specific regarding the clients with whom we partner. We are only interested in working with people of the highest integrity, looking to establish and maintain an Australian business in full compliance with local regulations.
We are pleased to work with start-up and SME businesses, but may need assurances around their ongoing liquidity and viability in some instances. That said, the most important aspect for us is the actual relationship between us, so direct access and open communication with key decision makers are an essential part of that relationship and probably the primary consideration in deciding whether to take on the role or not.
The Australian economy is a fantastic growth opportunity for many businesses.
With a high performing economy, relatively low unemployment & a consumer base seeking global offerings – it is a key expansion market for many international businesses.
Our clients vary in size & industry – from publicly listed companies to start-ups and even virtual operations with no local employees.
Some are larger companies leveraging their scale & expanding into this market with several employees from the outset, whilst others are smaller businesses leveraging the interconnected world of online shopping & tapping into a new market place.
Lansdowne Financial assists our partners with all aspects of company setup in Australia. We work seamlessly with our clients to help get them up and running faster, allowing them to focus on servicing their customers sooner.
Below is an overview of what is required to establish your business in Australia. (While the below list may seem daunting, our objective is to make this as fast and as simple as possible for you, so you can quickly get your business to market and focus on the opportunities that exist instead of being burdened in regulatory setup procedures):