Deciding to start up a company can be a daunting experience – Do you have the right business idea? Will it be successful? Will you make money?

In comparison, once you’ve made the decision, setting up a company can be a relatively easy and stress-free experience. It will also mean your business can begin to operate effectively, complying with Australian law.

LawPath can help your business take the next step with our online company registration process. We also have a range of bundles and additional services to help protect your new company from the get go.

The following guide will step you through what information you will need to provide and the type of questions to expect when completing the formal process of setting up a company.

Step 1: Choosing a company name

You will be asked to choose a company name. It’s important to note that a company name is not the same as a business name. A company name can be different to your business name, examples include sole traders using their own name or the company name showing the name of a partnership, a proprietary limited company or an incorporated association.  A business name is what you are know by customers, such as  ‘LawPath’. When choosing a company name you do not have to use your business name. If you decide not to choose a company name, your company name can be your Australian Company Number (ACN).

Use LawPath’s Name Search tool, which is based on ASIC’s Identical Names Check facility, to confirm whether the name is available for registration.

For more info about how to choose a company name, see here

Step 2: Choosing your company’s rules

All Australian companies must be governed by a set of rules. You must choose between having your own company constitution; using the Corporations Act replaceable rules; or a combination of both.

A Company’s Constitution governs the company’s internal management. A Constitution is an essential document that governs the relationship of a company’s directors and shareholders, and the activities of the company.

Note however that if your company is a sole director/member proprietary, then you are not required to have a company constitution.

Step 3: Choosing your shareholders and directors

Directors are responsible for the governance of the company and have duties to ensure the company is complying with Australian law. Shareholders, also known as members, have an ownership stake in the company. The company must have at least one director who resides in Australia and all directors need to be at least 18 years old. You should think about who you want to be a company director and shareholder and gain their written consent before listing them in the company registration application.

Step 4: Choosing your share structure

Now that you have identified the shareholders, you will have to decide the amount and class of shares they will each be allocated. The most common class of shares is ordinary shares. Other classes included “A class shares” and preference shares, however these are less common.

Step 5: Choose the state/territory in which your company will be registered

Registering your company will allow you to operate in any state or territory in Australia. However you must choose a state or territory in which to be registered. For most businesses, this will be the state or territory in which you reside.

Step 6: Choose the principal place of business and registered office

You will need to provide the address details for the principal place of business and registered office. If you do not yet have an office, you can put down your home address as the registered office address. However, you can not put down a P.O box address. A registered office address must be accessible by ASIC auditors.

The principal place of business and registered office can be the same address.

Step 7: Completing your application – DIY or service provider?

All company registrations are governed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC allows you to complete a company registration yourself using ASIC Form 201. However, we do not recommend it as they do not provide you with your company register documentation that you need to ensure you’re compliant.
For ease and convenience you can also choose to use a service provider such as LawPath to complete the company registration. LawPath and other service providers deal with ASIC directly and can provide additional services – for example, LawPath’s ‘Company Started Bundle’ also includes GST, PAYG, TFN and .au domain registration.
Registering your company with LawPath only costs $499. This includes the standard government fee of $457 and GST. It’s also a quick process- our technology is directly connected to ASIC. If your application is error free, the process of registering your company will only take a few minutes, once you have completed and submitted your application.

What legal documents will LawPath provide upon registration?

Once your application is complete we will email you the 13 documents you will require as listed below. Each of these documents will already be completed with the information you provided in the application, all you need to do is sign them as required!

  1. Share Transfer Journal;
  2. Certificate of Company Registration;
  3. Constitution;
  4. Share Certificates;
  5. Blank Application for Shares;
  6. Share Journals;
  7. Office Holder Consent forms;
  8. Public Officer letters to Commissioner of Taxation;
  9. Occupier Consent Form;
  10. Member Register;
  11. Blank Consent forms & Share certificates;
  12. Registers of Charges & Debentures;
  13. Resolution of Members.

Read here for more FAQs about registering your company through LawPath.

Ready to start up a company? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

Dominic Woolrych

Dominic is the CEO of LawPath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.