When establishing a company in Australia, opening a business bank account is an imperative initial step. Maintaining a dedicated account streamlines financial management for companies operating in the country. This article outlines key considerations for overseas individuals seeking to open an Australian business account.

Personal accounts for foreign citizens

Local banks do not furnish personal accounts for Commonwealth of Independent States nationals. Additionally, non-residents cannot open Australian personal accounts. Leading Australian banks typically do not impose account opening fees for companies. However, substantial identification documentation must be furnished to initiate business accounts.

Banks allocate points for verification credentials presented. One hundred identification points are mandated to activate company accounts. Required credentials include:

  • Passports and citizenship certifications
  • Address confirmations like utility invoices or bank statements
  • Driving licences, government ID cards
  • Credit cards and similar company-issued identification

While Australian banks permit remote account initiation, newly opened accounts necessitate in-person verification at branches before starting any business activities.

How to set up a business bank account in Australia

When establishing an Australian company, procuring a commercial bank account is an essential consideration. Firstly, the pertinent government bodies must officially register the business entity seeking an Australian bank account. The country's regulations recognise several common structures:

  • Sole traders
  • Private limited companies
  • Partnerships
  • Trusts

Required credentials to open an account

  • Entity name
  • Tax File Number (TFN) – a unique identifier for interactions with tax authorities
  • Australian Business Number (ABN) – the ASIC registration number
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration – mandatory for companies with over A$75,000 in annual turnover

Choosing an account type

Several account types suit different business needs. Key options include:

Account type


Features and considerations


For everyday banking, including cash deposits and withdrawals. Receives electronic payments and bank transfers.

May have monthly service fees

Charges for international transactions may apply


Earns interest on deposited funds. Requires notice for withdrawals. Maintain an adequate transaction account balance.

Interest-earning account

Notice may be required for withdrawals

Term Deposit

Similar to a savings account with a fixed expiration date and interest rate. Guarantees fixed earnings.

Fixed expiration date and interest rate

Provides assurance of fixed earnings

Documentation required for non-resident business accounts

It is feasible for overseas entities to initiate Australian corporate bank accounts, contingent on formally registering the business and furnishing pertinent verification materials, namely:

  • Confirmation of directors’ and principal shareholders’ identities (over 25% ownership). Acceptable documents include passports, driving licences or other statutory ID. Notably, Australian banks employ a 100-point identification system, so entities must fully satisfy prerequisites to activate accounts. It is advisable to confirm requirements with the selected bank beforehand.
  • ASIC business certification or certificate of incorporation. For Australian trusts, documentation verifying trust validity.
  • Registration numbers (ABN, ACN, TFN). It is important: GST is mandatory for companies with over A$75,000 in annual turnover.
  • Address proof like a utility bill or bank statement.
  • Registered company name and business activity summary.
  • For trusts or partnerships, the original or certified copy of the constituting trust deed or partnership agreement.

While Australian business account eligibility does not mandate local residency, overseas entrepreneurs may encounter substantial administrative procedures for KYC checks.

Certain banks facilitate online corporate account initiation contingent on entity type — for instance, sole proprietorships. However, most institutions necessitate in-person identity verification and account access at branches post-application.

Selecting a bank for an Australian business account

Before initiating a company account selection process, clearly define all requisite features like international capabilities, electronic payments, credit provision, overdrafts and more. Australia's "Big Four" banks offer periodic promotions for new business customers, such as temporary fee waivers.


Account options

Monthly fee

Target audience

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Daily business account

$10 USD

Sole traders and SMEs seeking segregated finances and online accessibility

Business current account

Waived for $15,000 USD

Medium enterprises, waives minimum monthly balance fees

National Australia Bank (NAB)

Daily business account

No monthly fees

Micro businesses focused on essential online banking

Second account option

$10 USD

Activity-intensive companies

ANZ Banking Group (ANZ)

ANZ Business Advantage

$10 USD fixed monthly

Simple, low-cost everyday account for easy money access through online/mobile banking and ATMs

ANZ Business Extra

$22 USD

Advanced online account controls for sophisticated businesses


Specialized accounts

No monthly fees

For non-profits, trusts, etc.

Savings accounts

No monthly fees + digital

Foreign currency accounts

No monthly fees + digital

Regional Australian Banks

Bank of Queensland (BOQ)

Operates 160+ local branches

Authorized banking institution regulated by ASIC

Bendigo & Adelaide Bank

Operates 500+ national branches

ASX100 listed entity

International Banks

HSBC, Bank of China, etc. (Australian subsidiaries)

Online account management widely accessible across providers


While initiating Australian bank accounts may not be inherently challenging, overseas applicants must evaluate several key factors. Different providers offer varying associated business benefits and have specific non-resident requirements.

Visiting local bank branches with identification documentation forms part of the process for larger banks, even if non-residents can theoretically open Australian accounts remotely.

Account applications must be filed for entities registered in Australia. However, United States citizens should furnish tax details during the application process.

To assist further with seamlessly establishing non-resident Australia company accounts, please contact TK Deal’s specialist team.

Is it possible for Australian banks to offer consolidated reporting or other global treasury services?
Options for efficiently managing international cashflows via Australian accounts include multi-currency facilities, in-country collection accounts pooling subsidiary funds, and consolidated financial reporting. Most major Aussie banks provide internet banking platforms, allowing global transaction oversight. Specialist treasury services leverage platforms like SWIFT for seamless worldwide payments and receipts between affiliated entity accounts.
What additional due diligence or enhanced reporting requirements do Australian banks have around politically exposed individuals, foreign public officials or heightened money laundering threats?

As Australia is a signatory to Common Reporting Standards and a member of the FATF, banks have extensive KYC, source of funds checking, and ongoing screening requirements around foreign account holders. Politically exposed individuals, public officials and heightened risk countries or activities necessitate further enhanced due diligence.

While this can mean elongated account opening procedures, streamlined processes exist for financial entities operating in comparable jurisdictions like the UK or Canada, for example. Close engagement and transparency from applicants facilitates efficient onboarding.

What are some of the key cultural considerations or communication nuances that overseas applicants should be mindful of when engaging with Australian banks?

When engaging Australian banks, overseas applicants should be aware of direct communication and an emphasis on relationship building. Streamlining financial authority hierarchies and documentation is valued.

Banks take protocol around client information and privacy very seriously, so transparent conversations build trust. Understanding timeliness helps interactions.