Operating Environment


Business Environment in Australia

Australia is a relatively easy place to do business.  It has one of the most transparent and well-regulated business environments in the world.  It is an open market with low levels of political, regulatory and financial risk.     Australia has strong connections with the Asia region and favourable free trade agreements for companies who set up in Australia.   There are over 18,000 foreign companies registered in Australia.

Australia’s currency is fully internationalized with no restrictions on capital flows and the country has a strong domestic financial and banking sector.

A number of Australian, State & Territory Government departments and agencies determine business’s regulatory requirements based on their respective laws. These regulations ensure fair competition, sufficient protections for relevant parties and market integrity. These include intellectual property, business and environmental policies, export controls and import tariffs and financial reporting.  Compared to other markets Australia may seem highly regulated particularly in relation to labour practices which are often noted as being inflexible.

Doing Business

The 2016 World Bank Doing Business Report Ranks Australia 13 (12 in 2015) for ease of doing business.  The Doing Business report ranks 189 countries.   The report highlights that Australia scores well for enforcing contracts (4), dealing with construction permits (4), getting credit (5)  and starting a business (11).  Australia scores less well for trading across borders (89), protecting minority interests (66), registering property (47) and paying taxes (42).  The tax ranking is impacted by the total tax rate indicator of 47.6% (% of profit) versus 41.2% for other OECD high income countries.

According to The Economist Intelligence Unit business environment rankings, Australia’s global ranking has improved to third place out of 82 countries as at November 2015.  The report highlighted that the improved ranking was primarily due to improvements in the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, and foreign trade and exchange controls with taxes being the greatest area of weakness.


The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Liveability Survey 2016 ranks Melbourne (Victoria) as the most liveable location of 140 cities surveyed achieving  the highest possible scores for healthcare, education and infrastructure.   Adelaide (5) in South Australia and Perth (7) in Western Australia also make the top ten.   Sydney, ranking 7th in 2015, fell to 11th.  The EIU Liveability ranking score is a combination of a range of factors in five main categories; stability, healthcare, culture & environment, education and infrastructure.  The EIU identifies a positive correlation with high ranking and mid-sized cities within wealthier countries that have relatively low population densities.

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Government & Regulation

Exchange Controls



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