Company and Trust Setups

Setting up a Company

A company is an independent legal entity. All companies need to be registered through ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission).

You will run the business as a director and own the business as a shareholder.


  • Your liability for the debts of the business is limited.
  • Your limited liability can make it easier to attract investment.
  • You can own and operate as the sole shareholder and director.
  • You have no personal responsibility for debts unless the debts are negligent or fraudulent.
  • A company can own property.
  • You can be employed by the company
  • Taxation rates can be more favourable
  • You’ll have access to a wider capital and skills base.


  • Large initial establishment fee.
  • Complex establishment requirements.
  • Strict regulations.
  • Attract higher compliance costs than other business structures.
  • Your business will be subject to company tax.
  • Your financial affairs are public.

Setting up a Trust

A trust is a structure where a trustee (typically an individual or company) operates a business on behalf of the beneficiaries of the trust.

As a general rule, trusts are a more tax effective structure as a holding entity for investment and commercial real estate and other fixed assets. Individuals are provided a 50% exemption from CGT. This exemption will apply to a discretionary trust where the potential beneficiaries are all individuals (not companies).


  • Often used for tax minimisation.
  • Limited liability for each beneficiary (Asset Protection).
  • Tax – Income splitting
  • Can assist with transfer of assets to the next generation.


  • The structure is complex
  • The trust can be expensive to establish and maintain
  • Difficult to make changes to a trust or dissolve it.
  • The powers of trustees are restricted by the trust deed.

If you need assistance with a company or trust setup, contact us on (02) 9897 2426 and speak with one of our tax specialists.