Many international students usually have this question in their mind that
“Can I start a business in Australia as an International students?”.
Short answer to that question is Yes!
There are requirements and other things you need to be mindful of when starting a business in Australia.
So in this blog, we are giving you detailed information about starting a business in Australia as an international student.
Requirements to start a business in Australia as an international student
In order to start a business in Australia, these are some of the basic requirements:
As most of the international students start a business in Australia as a Self-employed Person or a Sole Trader, for that you would need an ABN.
ABN stands for Australian Business Number.
It is a 11 digit number issued by Australian Business Register in order to recognise you as a business.
Basically anyone running a business in Australia must have an ABN.
You can register an ABN under your name like for example John Smith or you can register a business name as well like Overseas Students Australia.
If you want to register a separate name for your business, then you can do it via ASIC.
It’s free to get an ABN to get started with your business in Australia.
If you want to know more about how to get an ABN we got a really useful video regarding that on our channel. Check the video below for more details
If you’re still unsure after watching the video, then you can use the services of an accountant and apply for an ABN with them as well. It usually cost some money.
It is important that get a TFN as well.
TFN stands for Tax File Number.
This 9 digit number will be used for lodging your personal tax returns.
It is also free to get a TFN. You can watch the video below if you want to get a TFN.
If want to run a business as company, then you need to register a company in Australia.
For that you will need to get an ACN.
ACN stands for Australian Company Number.
As an international student you can register a company also it is important that one of the directors in the company must be an Australian resident. That person can be an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident.
Getting an ACN is not free as there is a fee that need to be paid when registering an ACN.
The cost of setting up a company in Australia can start from around $500 onwards.
You can read more about registering a company from the ASIC website.
Popular types of businesses for international students in Australia
There are not many limitations in regards to what type of business you can run as an international student in Australia.
It will depend upon your skill set and your interests as well.
You can also look for a gap in the market for a product or service that needs to be fulfilled.
Here are some common types of businesses that International students run in Australia.
Ride sharing services
One of the most common business type is ride sharing services.
It is about providing ride services for driving passenger from point A to point B.
There are some popular apps in Australia like Uber, where you can register yourself as a self-employed person and can choose your own hours to provide these ride sharing services.
Food delivery services
Another popular type of business is food delivery services.
One of the most popular platform for food delivery services is Uber Eats where you can work as a self-employed person to deliver food from the food outlets to the customers.
You can sign up for Uber Eats using this link here.
Cleaning is one of the most popular type of business that many International students run in Australia.
You can get a cleaning franchise or you can get some cleaning contracts yourselves in order to start a business as a cleaner.
You can choose to work in residential or commercial cleaning.
There are many popular apps like Airtasker in Australia for finding cleaning work as well.
Tutoring is another popular business among students where you can provide tutoring services to other students.
It could be providing tutoring services to high school students or for university students.
You can also provide services as a freelancer in Australia. Some of the popular freelancing businesses in Australia includes:
- social media management,
- digital marketing,
- video editing
Some international students also run their businesses as an influences in Australia. Influencers provide advertising services to different brands in Australia or overseas.
Influencers promote the services use different channels like
You can also provide Trade Services as a business like
Just keep in mind that when providing some of these services, you will need to have the right certification and licenses.
You can also start selling some products as a business in Australia.
You can set up an online business or an offline business by renting a shop.
So, there are no limitations on the type of business you can run as an international student in Australia.
Want to know how you can make money online in Australia? Check more than 16 ideas here.
Work hours when running a business as an international student
Next very interesting question that get asked quite often is.
“Can I work more than 40 hours per fortnight if I’m running my own business?”.
As you know the international students are required to abide by their student visa conditions and one of that condition is regarding the work limitation.
This visa conditions requires students to work no more than 40 hours per fortnight during their study terms.
However, students are allowed to work unlimited hours during their official school holidays.
Currently, International students are allowed to work unlimited hours until 30th June 2023.
But once those unlimited work hours finishes, regardless of whether you’re working on TFN (as an employee) or an ABN (as a business) you will need to abide by the work hours conditions on your visa.
So you need to make sure that you don’t work more than 40 hours per fortnight even if you are running your own business.
As an employee, your employer have a responsibility to make sure that they give you work hours as per your visa condition
But as a business, it is your responsibility to make sure that you do not exceed the amount of hours you are legally allowed to work, especially when your study is in progress.
Read more about work hours conditions and other work hour requirements here.
Dealing with taxes when running a business in Australia
The next important question is.
“Do I need to pay taxes when I’m running my own business in Australia?”.
Like any other business owner, you will be responsible for managing your own taxes.
You will need to pay your shares of taxes depending upon your income.
In certain businesses, you are required to pay additional taxes like GST (Goods and Services Tax) as a part of meeting your tax obligations.
so it’s very important that you Lodge your tax returns within the time frame allocated
If you are unsure about taxes as a business, we suggest you speaking to an accountant as they can provide you with advice regarding that and many other things.
And that’s pretty much it in regards to starting a business in Australia as an International students.
We hope that information provided above helped you understanding the requirements for registering, taxes, work hours and some popular type of businesses among international students as well.
If you are planning to start your own business, we would love to hear about it. Let us know in the comment section below.
All the best with your journey of starting a business in Australia as an international student.