Doing business in Brisbane

Brisbane River

Background to Brisbane

Brisbane is the capital of the Australian state of Queensland. With a metropolitan population of around 2.5 million people, the city is also the most populous in the state and 3rd most populous in Australia. While Brisbane’s central business district stands on the site of the historic European settlement, the city’s modern progressive outlook has made it an attractive destination for both domestic and international businesses, either expanding or relocating into the Australian market. A stable political environment, proven and forecast population growth, a strong commitment to improving the economy and expanding intellectual capital and business-friendly public-policy provides confidence of optimizing a return on investment.

The city is increasingly attractive for business

Brisbane has been ranked as a ‘global city’ on 2 occasions. London-based Magazine fDi ranked it as the 4th/53 best global destination for Foreign Direct Investment Strategy. White-collar industries located in the city include IT, financial services, higher education and public sector administration. Blue-collar industries, including petroleum refining, paper milling, metalworking and QR railway workshops. Tourism is an important part of the Brisbane economy, with the city itself attracting many visitors but also acting as a gateway to the rest of Queensland.

As one of Australia’s leading business hubs, business services account for more than one-quarter ($13.4) billion of the Brisbane economy. The city contains offices for most major Australian companies, as well as various international companies, while numerous electronics businesses have distribution hubs in and around the city. DHL Global's Oceanic distribution warehouse is located in Brisbane, as is Asia Pacific Aerospace's headquarters. Home grown major companies include Suncorp-Metway Limited, Flight Centre, Sunsuper, Orrcon, Donut King, WebCentral, PIPE Networks and Virgin Australia.

Key growth industries in Brisbane are business services, construction, education, finance, government, health, manufacturing, mining, retail, and transport.Construction, education, government, health and retail account for more than half of total employment in the city. These industries are labour intensive, their growth is largely driven by strong population growth across South East Queensland.

Brisbane’s ‘2022 New World City Action Plan’ was awarded the Strategic Vision Award, while the city’s successful tourism infrastructure and hotel investment strategy saw it win the Tourism Development Award. With more than $10 billion worth of major project and infrastructure work in the pipeline, this is a very exciting time for business in Brisbane.

 

Visa information for expats

Part of Brisbane’s attractiveness comes from Australia’s determination to attract business and skilled migration. Those planning to relocate to Brisbane should be aware that all international travellers must have a valid and approved travel document (generally a passport) and a visa to enter Australia. This means that before making any plans to live, work in or travel to Australia, you are obliged to ensure that you have the appropriate visa or you will be refused permission to enter and sent back to your home country at your own expense.

Immigration to Australia is controlled by the Federal Government, supported by specific State Government agencies when necessary. Visas are classified into business migration and general skilled migration. Each classification has different classes, and different eligibility criteria apply to each. In most cases there is the option to be sponsored if you meet certain criteria. 

For further information on visas and permits visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.

Some other advantages to Brisbane

Brisbane’s increasing popularity is driven by its openness toward business. The progressive, multicultural atmosphere attracts people from across the world to live in the city, with numerous thriving expat communities. fDi also scored the city highly for lifestyle and human capital – placing 10th/101 in the list of global cities. A 2017 study by Realestate.com.au ranked the suburbs of south Brisbane and Dutton park as 2nd and 3rd respectively in their survey of Australia’s ‘most liveable’ suburb. And with a highly educated and motivated workforce, alongside a pro-business outlook, Brisbane is transforming itself into a global leader in doing business.

Kingpin has numerous exciting vacancies in Brisbane and across Australia. If you are looking for your next career move across Direct Tax, Transfer Pricing or Indirect Tax and would like to speak to Kingpin International on how we can support your job search, then get in touch with our team.

Alternatively, browse our international tax vacancies.

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