Doing Business in Australia | Australia's foreign investment approval (FIRB) regime

The Australian Government’s foreign investment regime, generally speaking, is open to foreign investment in Australia.

The regime consists of the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth) (FATA), associated legislation and various regulations. The regime is also supported by Australia's Foreign Investment Policy and various guidance notes released by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), which are updated from time to time. The Australian Treasurer administers the FATA with the advice and assistance of FIRB.

Foreign persons are required to notify FIRB of certain transactions and obtain clearance before proceeding with the transaction. Voluntary notifications can also be made in certain circumstances.

FIRB screens certain foreign investment proposals on a case-by-case basis to determine whether a particular proposal is contrary to the national interest. This brochure explains some of the rules governing the screening process. However, Australia’s foreign investment rules are complex, and legal advice should be sought.

The brochure covers:

  • What laws govern foreign investment
  • Who is regulated
  • Types of transactions that are regulated
  • Monetary thresholds
  • Special rules for foreign government investors
  • National interest test
  • Procedure
  • Penalties
  • The 2021 proposed changes to the foreign investment regime

This brochure is current as of 17 September 2020. Click here to download the report.

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