Self Employed


Under Australian corporations law a company need only have one resident director and one shareholder. The term ‘resident’ for corporations law does not mean permanent residence and would cover a person present in Australia on a temporary visa. The cost of buying a company from a shelf company service is not large (about $1000+)

Given the definition of employed is 20 hours per week, a person could set up a company and employ him or herself. For example a person seeking employment experience as a cook would set up a company and do freelance cooking and even cook for things like food festivals, school fetes, cooking food at a food stall at a sporting event, the list could be endless. Of course such a case would have to ‘drip with authenticity’ and show regular deposits of money into a bank account representing revenue from such work and also be backed up by evidence like photographs testimonials, witness statements etc.  Plus the work would have to be genuinely ‘chef’ or ‘cook’ and not fast food cook[13].  A freelance cook having his or her own ABN covering him or herself for workers’ compensation, superannuation etc is far easier to employ on a casual basis that putting the person on the formal payroll.  The tax rule about using a company to provide services is that one cannot earn more than 80% of one’s income from one customer in a financial year.  So a person could have one’s own company and that company could provide services to others, on a short term or medium term basis.  Note however the limitation on a cook & chef in the SOL as follows as denoted by *** which is applies to the ENS subclass 186 visa and the subclass 457 visa (and not the skilled visas) :

*** indicates that for a nomination or visa application for a Subclass 457 visa or a Subclass 186 visa[14], the occupation excludes positions in Fast Food or Takeaway Food Service[15]

The self-employed concept would apply for hairdressers who could set up a mobile hairdressing business or work on contract through the company, there is hardly an occupation, professional or otherwise which would not benefit from this type of arrangement.  Even ones requiring registration could work this way, lawyers, doctors etc.

On a fee paying basis the writer can assist with setting up this type of structure, noting that it has to be done properly and authentically.  This type oīf thing would work on the remnants of a student visa, or a 485 or a 457 visa (the last one being a self-sponsorship model which would require more than just the setting up of a company).

Barbara Davidson