Business Administration in Australia

Overview by Globlatrade.net:

Setting Up a Company

Legal Business Entities

Types of Companies and Capital (Max/Min) Number of Partners/Shareholders and Liability Registration Fees
Sole trader
 
 
No minimum capital.
1 person
 
 
The liability of the sole trader is unlimited.
Registration fees vary from state to state. They can go up to AUD 1,500. The average standing at AUD 650-750.
Private or Proprietary Company
 
 
No minimum capital.
Between 2 partners and 50 partners maximum.
 
 
The partners' liability is limited to the amount of capital contributed.
Registration fees vary from state to state. They can go up to AUD 1,500. The average standing at AUD 650-750.
Public Company
 
 
No minimum capital.
5 partners minimum.
 
 
The partners' liability is limited to the amount of capital contributed.
Registration fees vary from state to state. They can go up to AUD 1,500. The average standing at AUD 650-750.
Partnership
 
 
No minimum capital.
20 partners maximum.
 
 
Their liability is joint and unlimited.
Registration fees vary from state to state. They can go up to AUD 1,500. The average standing at AUD 650-750.
Limited Partnership
 
 
No minimum capital.
20 partners maximum.
There are two types of partner: active partners and silent partners.
 
 
The active partners' liability is unlimited. The silent partners' liability is limited to the amount of capital contributed as long as they do not take part in the management of the company.
Registration fees vary from state to state. They can go up to AUD 1,500. The average standing at AUD 650-750.
 
Business Setup Procedures
Company charters, made up of the Memorandum of Association and the Articles of Association, must be written in English.
The statutes must be filed with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). The Business name must be registered in the State or the Territory where the company is operating from. The National Business Names Office issues an identification number (Australian Company Number). As soon as it receives the Certificate of Incorporation, the company can start business. The Business name registration is valid throughout federal territory and the incorporated company can develop its business all over Australia, without any other formalities.
The Competent Organization
Australian Security and Investment Commission (ASIC)
Search a Company or a Financial Report
ASIC, Australian Securities and Investments Commission

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
38 hours
Retirement Age
There is no legal retirement age. Retirement is negotiated with the employer.
However, employees are authorized to request a pension as follows:
- Men: from 65
- Women: between 60 and 65 according to date of birth
Working Contracts
There are two main types of work contract:
- the most widespread is the Ongoing contract or permanent contract. It is an individual contract.
- the Fixed Term Employment contract of a similar type but fixed-term.

Note also the collective agreements (certified/Enterprise Agreements) a result of negotiations between employers and employee unions, and the Australian Workplace Agreements (AWA), the fruit of individual negotiations between employer and employees; these will be terminated by the new Labor government (no more AWAs since 28 March 2008).

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Cost of Labor

Minimum Wage
The legal minimum wage or Federal Minimum Wage (FMV) is 13.74 AUD per hour in 2008.
Average Wage
The annual average full-time wage (not including overtime): AUD 61,038 for men and AUD 51,054 for women.
Social contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: The State deducts Payroll Tax, which varies between 3.65% and 6.85% of the company's global payroll (although small companies are generally exempted according to the State/Territory of Australia).
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: 0%

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
There are about 132 unions in Australia organized by trade association.
Because of the increase in the proportion of the workforce which is not unionized, the credibility of the unions has diminished over the last few years, but powerful relations continue to exist between unions and the Labor Party.
Legal provisions govern work contracts. They were reformed and then enforced from 27 March 2006. However, the new Labor government in power since December 2007 wants to query this legislation.
The new system provides a unique ensemble of simple rules which can be applied nationally. The Workplace Relations Act which includes the new rules of WorkChoices is available for downloading.
The first role of the Office of the Employment Advocate (OEA) is to supervise the enforcement of agreements in the work context. The OEA also provides:
- advice and information for employers and employees who wish to draw up a contract together
- assistance for employers and employees to understand the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard
- it verifies the legitimacy of agreements between employers and employees before they come into force
- it explains the content of agreements to people with specific needs (for example: young people, people from a non-English speaking background).
Unions
Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
Unionization Rate
In Australia it is not compulsory to join a union. Unions are represented by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU); these represent more than 2 million Australian workers, i.e. 22% of the active population.
Labor Regulation Bodies
Department of Employment

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