Establishing your operations in Australia

Lawyers for overseas companies establishing operations in Australia.
Cross-border disputes
Setting up business in Australia
Ongoing operations

Laying strong foundations
for your Australian operation

Multi-jurisdictional experience

The key to effectively establishing your Australian operation is legal advice tailored to the intended scale and style of your business in Australia. This way, you will create the right legal structure or framework from the outset to achieve your commercial goals. That advice should come from a lawyer who understands the position of your Australian operation within your global business, and the interaction between the Australian legal regime and the regime in the overseas jurisdiction.

Our services include:

  • designing and establishing the best business structure to meet your Australian and overseas commercial objectives
  • where a foreign-owned subsidiary is the best structure:
    • establishing a corporate entity
    • serving as the required resident Australia director and company secretary
    • providing a registered office
    • making relevant registrations for company names and tax purposes, and applying for audit exemptions
  • where you intend to trade through a distributor, ensuring any distribution agreement is appropriate for the Australian market
  • advising on employment contracts for any Australian employees and ensuring compliance with Australian statutory obligations to employees
  • reviewing standard contract clauses to ensure they can be defended in Australia
  • ensuring the parent entity is protected as far as legally permissible from Australian damages claims
  • where your goods are subject to regulation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), ensuring compliance with their requirements including
    • providing sponsorship services
    • providing an address for product labels
  • assisting to facilitate any other regulatory approvals required for the product to be used in Australia, such as for use in mines
  • advising on intellectual property protection

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Establishing an Australian operation

There are several ways to operate effectively in Australia. The best option for your business depends on your goals for your Australian operation.

Our experience with parent companies in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the USA, Italy, Norway and other jurisdictions ensures you will receive advice that helps you realise the maximum benefits of operating in Australia with the least risk.

An Australian company (including a foreign-owned subsidiary) must have at least one director who is an Australian resident. Fiona is an experienced company director, acting as the resident director for clients in other countries, as well having extensive experience as a director/council member of several significant entities with assets and turnovers well over $100million and a government body.

Australian laws and regulations might be significantly different from the other markets in which you operate. Your operation will be on the strongest footing if it is established with advice from someone who knows how to remove unnecessary exposure and gain maximum protection within the Australian legal system.

Establishing a subsidiary or obtaining product approvals in Australia requires compliance with multiple regulations administered by different Australian regulators and government departments. We will act as your navigator, making sure you don’t miss a step that could have significant consequences.

Because of our experience working for businesses from other jurisdictions, our clients benefit from advice that understands that the Australian setup must take into consideration the circumstances in other countries where they operate and fit within the overarching goals of the global entity.

fiona henderson -establishing-business

Set up your Australian operation
to maximise efficiency and minimise risk

How you set up your Australian operation can be the difference between trouble-free operation and delays, loss of intellectual property and unnecessary exposure to litigation. Establishing the foundations of an efficient, profitable and protected operation is easy when you have the whole picture.

Get that picture with crystal clarity in our guide to laying strong foundations for your Australian operation. Enter your details below and we’ll email you a copy of the guide.

    Key Contact

    Fiona Henderson

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    client base

    Our clients are overseas companies ranging from niche operations to multinationals with thousands of employees and billions in turnover. Every client receives the same detailed attention and dedication to their commercial goals.

    Australian lawyer representing Germany clients
    Australian lawyer representing Austria clients
    Australian lawyer representing Switzerland clients
    Australian lawyer representing Norway clients
    Australian lawyer representing Italy clients
    Australian lawyer representing USA clients

    Resources and insights

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    Recent testimonials

    Far better prepared than the other side

    The way Fiona puts things together is exceptional; it’s diligent and thorough. In the cases that she’s handled for us, I’ve noticed we’ve been far better prepared than the other side. And, of course, that is the reason why we were successful!! It was only because of how diligent and how thorough Fiona is.

    Some lawyers ruin a negotiation fighting over a point of law. Fiona gets the commercial element when she’s negotiating. She doesn’t push the legal points at the expense of reaching a good deal. That’s because she’s always listening to the client.

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    Sandro Ianni
    Head of HUB Region Oceania/South East Asia,
    LISEC Australia Pty Ltd

    Maintains the human touch for her clients

    Litigation can be a daunting maze, but Fiona was able to understand that it can be a rollercoaster, as well as break down what was happening so that we could work together effectively.

    Somehow, Fiona has maintained the human touch while being aggressive in pursuit of the right result for her client.

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    Ross Campbell
    Managing Director,
    HOMAG Australia Pty Ltd

    Probing questions to get results

    Fiona’s understanding of the business means she asks probing questions when we’re talking about a dispute or a claim we’re looking at pursuing.

    She gets her head around the issues quickly and cuts through to what matters, including the commercial reasons why we would pursue one case and not another. And then she keeps us focused on what’s important.

    She’s also able to use different strategies to get a positive result, not just litigation. If you can get the result you want without going to court, that’s excellent.

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    Malcolm Stewart
    Managing Director,
    Preformed Line Products (Australia) Pty Ltd

    Focused on the actual issues

    A common tactic in legal representation is for the other side to make claims and counterclaims to keep your lawyer distractedly spending your money chasing everything down. It’s a trap to wear you down and tie up your lawyer on things that aren’t the main point.

    Fiona doesn’t let that happen. She keeps the matter focused on the end goal and the actual issues.

    Also, with Fiona, you don’t get passed through the firm to people who might not understand your business. You’re dealing with Fiona, with her extensive network of colleagues and barristers.

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    Chad Brown
    James Glen Pty Ltd

    Rapid grasp of key concepts in complicated matters

    Even though our matter was involved, and I had to send through a lot of documentation, Fiona grasped the whole overview and concept of everything really, really quickly.

    I was surprised how little we had to explain. Instead, she quickly gave us a detached, professional opinion about whether our case was worth pursuing.

    With Fiona, it’s not like sitting with lawyers in boardrooms, getting bombarded or feeling like you’re a nuisance. It was actually pleasant.

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    Michel Scheuble
    Managing Director,
    Fracht Australia Pty Ltd

    Excellent cross-cultural communicator

    Fiona immediately understood the size of our business and the scale of our problem — being treated dismissively by a larger company. She knew exactly how to defend us. Now, they know her by name in the home office and often ask for her opinion.

    Fiona is a great lawyer and an adept cross-cultural communicator. She’s insightful, listens well and provides seasoned advice with great customer service.

    We appreciate that our work isn’t handed down to a junior associate; it’s handled by Fiona herself with all her skill. And with her experience, she quickly understands our context and the situation, and gives it due consideration and comes back with options that I would not have come up with myself.

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    Dan Credazzi
    Country Manager,
    Australia & New Zealand, DNV Imatis AS

    Achieved all our goals

    We found a competitor had substantially copied part of our software so asked Fiona to provide advice regarding our legal options and also how to manage aspects of the media communications.

    The outcome was better than we expected, and we achieved all our goals. Fiona’s advice was invaluable.

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    Hans Egger
    The Modern Adviser
    Co-Founder Astute Wheel

    Very capable in complex matters

    Fiona works hard, is extremely motivated and positive, very capable in complex legal matters, realistic and very successful. At the same time she is a nice person too.

    Wolfgang Bennedik
    Former Managing Director,
    Connect Hearing Australia Pty Ltd

    Strong team member

    Fiona has provided the NACC and its members with valuable advice, and been instrumental in the chamber’s growth. Fiona is a strong team member and I highly recommend her and her work.

    Sophia Demetriades Toftdahl
    Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce

    Using the law to get the right outcomes

    Fiona is an exceptional lawyer who blends her ethics and morality into the way she practices law. Rather than using the law as a weapon, she leverages it as a guide to get the right outcomes.

    All of the business and personal matters Fiona has handled for us have been dealt with professionally and successfully.

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    Phillip Evans
    Founder, Managing Director

    Culturally sensitive and tactful — but frank

    Fiona’s assistance has been invaluable in negotiating the terms of several joint venture agreements and in resolving a few potentially expensive disputes, avoiding the need to commence court proceedings.

    Fiona’s legal advice is always honest, practical and commercial. She has the ability to analyse a problem and master the detail whilst not losing sight of the big picture and commerciality of the situation. She explains complex legal concepts clearly and at a level that can be easily understood and applied in a commercial context.

    At times her advice has needed to be frank and not necessarily what I wanted to hear. In those circumstances, she has always managed to communicate that advice with tact and understanding.

    In addition to being an excellent lawyer, I have really appreciated the respect and sensitivity which she has shown towards my indigenous cultural heritage.

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    Scott Franks
    Tocomwall Pty Ltd

    Negotiating excellent results

    Fiona has saved us a lot of money negotiating complex contracts with large corporate venues. Her skills negotiating with difficult individuals and keeping track of the details while not losing sight of our broader goals are fantastic.

    She achieved a great outcome for us every time.

    She’s also helped me to be across the myriad legal issues and requirements that are often overwhelming when you don’t have in-house lawyers.

    I am so grateful for her expertise, friendly manner and integrity.

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    Ainsley Poulos
    Eastside Speech Solutions

    Looking for an Australian lawyer
    experienced in litigation and cross-border matters?

    If you’re looking for experienced Australian lawyers to represent and protect your interests in Australia,
    please let us know how we can help.

    +61 2 9173 9894
    Free consultation