When Do you Need a Legal Representative in Australia?

For a long time, Australia’s economy has been on an upward trajectory, becoming an export giant and the premier economic power in the South Pacific. Steady economic growth under a stable government is increasingly enticing foreign investors to incorporate a business in Australia. However, before entering Australia’s market, it is important to assimilate a company with local commercial culture and laws. Do this with the help of a local legal representative in Australia.

Legal representatives work with a range of different entity structures, a range of different company sizes and company activities. By using an in-country expert, ensure a smooth company incorporation process and continuing corporate compliance.

A legal representative is an individual, usually a lawyer, who acts as the legal figurehead of the company and is the signatory on all company activities. They concern themselves with every legal matter within the company, from hiring employees to company liquidation. By assigning a legal representative, the individual personally accepts particular legal liabilities related to the actions of the company. It is, therefore, in the interest of the legal representative to ensure the company acts compliantly.

Legal representatives can have the capacity to execute legal transactions, sell assets, enter into legally binding contracts or even transfer large sums of money. Legal representative in Australia
Legal representatives can have the capacity to execute legal transactions, sell assets, enter into legally binding contracts or even transfer large sums of money. Legal representative in Australia

In accordance with Australian law, an individual legally representing a company must be over 18 years old and must also be an Australian national or foreigner with residency status. Not only is this a legal requirement, but it is also convenient for legal representatives to be able to act quickly on urgent matters as well as understand the local legal landscape around. 

Legal representatives are appointed by a notarized document that is sent to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) for them to inform their records. Once authorized, the legal representative is authorized to act on company actions. The limit to the capabilities of the legal representative’s actions is set by the company directors or shareholders. For instance, a trusted legal representative could have the capacity to execute legal transactions, sell assets, enter into legally binding contracts or even transfer large sums of money. However, these powers can be set by the shareholders in the contract. It is often more convenient to have a legal representative with fairly liberal constraints, allowing them to perform almost all company activities. This allows business to operate more smoothly and more efficiently.

During all company operations, there must be an individual officially appointed as legal representative. It is a common misconception that a legal representative has to be a lawyer. In fact, legal representatives can just be the owner of the business or even a trusted employee. However, it is often advised that during periods of legal significance, such as company incorporation, hiring staff, the signing of complex legal contracts or even company liquidation, businesses should assign an experienced lawyer as the legal representative.

For larger companies, it is often advised to keep a lawyer on retainer, meaning their legal services are always at the company’s disposal, becoming almost part of the company themselves.

Infographic: How to form a company in Australia
Business owners can get around traveling to Australia by appointing an experienced legal representative to act on their behalf. Legal representative in Australia

The choosing of a legal representative is not a process to be taken lightly. Paramount to this decision is trust. By handing over the reins of your company to a partner you can trust, the business owner can feel rest assured that the company’s responsibilities are in safe hands.  

Another element to bear in mind when choosing legal representatives is knowledge and experience of the specific field of business.

For instance, mining companies in Australia should appoint legal representatives with knowledge of the specificity of mining law. Not only is a legal representative who knows the field valuable, but a legal representative that knows the business is even more so.

Many companies retain the same legal representative for years. This helps to build trust but also allows the representative to get to know the company structure, the activities, and even the personnel.

It is often advised that legal representatives have frequent meetings with shareholders and directors so that they are aware of the future plans and projects for the company. This will help the legal representative establish a smooth legal path for future operations unhindered by legal trip-wires.  

Without local knowledge of the business culture and laws, incorporating a company in Australia can be a difficult process, as well as lengthy. With the help of an experienced local legal representative in Australia, company incorporation becomes straightforward and streamlined, taking as little as 2-3 weeks once all documentation is received.

Legal representatives can help every step of the way from choosing a legal entity structure to activating a corporate bank account, all without the need for the owner’s physical presence. The remote geographic location of Australia and the prospect of traveling so far for business can deter foreign investors from setting up. However, business owners can get around the travel by appointing an experienced legal representative to act on the behalf of the owner.

With the help of a legal representative in Australia, expanding your business is as easy as any local country.

Australia’s inclining economic trajectory, stable business-friendly government, and educated workforce has been a major contributing factor to the trillions of USD of foreign investment it has received over the last 20 years. In fact, 2018 showed the highest foreign direct investment figures in Australia ever, almost doubling the 2017 figure. If your company is seeking international expansion, consider Australia; it has never been so ripe for investment. Assign a local legal representative and start your Australian business venture.

Biz Latin Hub, as well as providing a range of commercial and accounting services, offer comprehensive legal services including local legal representation in Australia. We specialize in partnering with foreign companies from all around the world with particular expertise in company incorporation. Get in touch with our team today here at Biz Latin Hub to sign a legal representative in Australia and kick-off your international expansion.

Learn more about our team and expert authors.

A BLH infogrpahic showing key services offered by the company
Key services offered by Biz Latin Hub. Legal representative in Australia

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Legal Team Australia

Legal Team Australia

Legal Team Australia is the Biz Latin Hub leading experts on doing business in Australia The Team writes on the news, doing business, law, and changing regulations. The team are experts in corporate law, Administrative law, Employment law, Immigration law and legal advisory services. Read more about them here. You can contact Legal Team Australia via our "contact us page".

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