Australia

Small Business Owner

Realize your Australian immigration and entrepreneurial dream

What is Small Business Owner Visa?

Small business owner is a five-year temporary visa under Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa(subclass 491). At present, Tasmania and Queensland are open to apply for the 491 small business category, and they are eligible to transfer to Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) if:

  • Your business income can meet $53,900.
  • Within 5 years, 3 years can meet this requirement.

At present, this visa is only open to local applicants (such as Australian graduates, work visa holders).

New 
South Australia will begin to open applications for subclass 491 and 190 small business categories in the 2021 fiscal year!

The purpose of the Australian Immigration Bureau’s new visa is to encourage new immigrants to live, study and work in remote areas designated by the Australian government, so as to promote local population growth and economic development.

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Small Business Owner

Specific Requirements

  • Less than 45 years old
  • Nominated occupations are on the occupation list (including medical, trade and construction, engineering, and community service occupations will be highly valued)
  • Have a positive career assessment
  • At least a competent language level (IELTS 6 or PTE 50)
  • EOI plus 15 points for the 491 state guarantee, 65 points are required

Subclass 190/491 Small Business Owner Project Process

1. Living in Australia remote area

Working and Holiday Visa​(subclass 462)

student visa(subclass 500)/Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)

2. Establishing or Purchase a business

Tasmania – establishing a new business​

Queensland – buy ready-made business

new South Australia – establishing a new business or buy ready-made business

3. operation for 6 months

Operating your business​

Prepare application materials (such as English exams, financial statements, etc.)at the same time.

new In South Australia, your business must be established in South Australia and operating in South Australia for the last 12 months. If you are an existing SISA visa holder you must have an established business in South Australia for the last 6 months

4. Submit Visa application materials

Latest Update

From 1 April 2021, Small Business Owner in Queensland will undergo major adjustment:

  • There will also need to be a minimum purchase price of $100,000 (rather than total investment in the business).
  • the pre-existing business purchased will need to have been in operation for 2 years instead of 1 year.
  • Sub-leases of franchises (such as petrol stations), and home-based businesses (such as courier and cleaning businesses) will not be considered.
  • may considering monitoring process – expectation to stay in the business for 3 years

Common Problems

Most frequent questions and answers
Queensland:
  • Application form
  • Settlement funds declaration form
  • Bank statement (personal)
  • Skills assessment
  • Commitment statement
  • Evidence of business management
  • Evidence of academic qualification
  • Evidence of business ownership/registration documents (contract of sale and ABN/ACN/ASIC)
  • Evidence of Australian resident employee (not a family member, or a subcontractor)
  • Evidence business has been operating for 6 months (BAS statements)
  • VEVO
  • Utility bill or lease agreement
Tasmania 
  • demonstrate that you have established and operated your business (solely owned) in Tasmania for at least 6 months, including business registration certificate, ABN/ASIC registration, commercial bank statement and GST business activity certification;
  • Personal bank statements of withdrawn salary, audited financial statements and income assessment notice from the Australian Taxation Office;
  • must provide a comprehensive business plan.

South Australia

  • Passport
  • Skills assessment
  • English language test
  • Qualification(s)
  • Working experience
  • EOI points
  • Evidence of the salary you are drawing or are able to draw from the business
  • Evidence of the business operation in South Australia
  • The position is on the Immigration Bureau’s occupation list (not limited to the QLD position list), the main applicant needs a career assessment;
  • The business has been owned and operated in Tasmania for at least 6 months;
  • The following types of business are not allowed:
    • Franchise and joint-stock enterprises;
    • Gas station, massage clinic, taxi/Uber and other related businesses; and
  • Applicants must have full ownership of the business they create.
  • Your business must be established in South Australia and operating in South Australia for the last 12 months and you must have resided in South Australia for at least the last 24 months
  • If you are an existing SISA visa holder you must have an established business in South Australia for the last 6 months and resided in South Australia continuously during this time
  • Your business must be able to give you a personal income that would meet the minimum taxable income requirement set by the Department of Home Affairs
  • Businesses aligning with the priority Growth State industry sectors, will be favoured
  • Businesses employing at least two employees (other than the applicant) on an ongoing full-time basis will be favoured
  • You must provide a business case (maximum 2 pages)
  • Self employed applicants must apply through this stream
  • Only the business owner can apply through this stream. Business structures can include sole trader, partnership, company, and trusts
  • Franchise businesses are ineligible for this stream.
  • Yes, Queensland applicants still need to live in remote areas of Queensland.
  • Tasmania requires the applicant to currently reside in Tasmania.
  • South Australia requires the applicant to currently reside in South Australia.

Yes, the business needs to operate in remote areas for at least 6 months before submitting the letter of intent

  • The position is on the Immigration Bureau’s occupation list (not limited to the QLD position list), the main applicant needs a career assessment;
  • Before submitting an EOI, you must have been in business for at least 6 months;
  • The investment amount is at least A$100,000 (from 1st April 2021, the contract for purchasing a business must reach A$100,000);
  • Small business has no business scope, but can only invest in existing business; and
  • Employ at least one Australian employee, and the employee must work no less than 20 hours a week, and cannot be a family member or contractor

For more detailed information, please refer to:

https://migration.qld.gov.au/skilled-visa-options/im-operating-a-small-business-in-regional-queensland/

  • There are no industry restrictions in Queensland.
    • However, the pre-existing business purchased will need to have been in operation for 2 years instead of 1 year.
    • sub-leases of franchises (such as petrol stations) will not be considered
    • home-based businesses (such as courier and cleaning businesses) will not be considered.
  • Tasmania now explicitly mentions that franchise business and share-owned business are not acceptable. At the same time, service stations, massage clinics, taxi/Uber related businesses, and certain specific industries are also not recognized!
  • There are no industry restrictions in South Australia, but businesses aligning with the priority Growth State industry sectors, will be favoured.
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