Can I run my own company while on a temporary visa?

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Can I run my own company while on a temporary visa?

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Old 11-18-2020, 07:10 PM
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Can I run my own company while on a temporary visa?

Hi everyone, I came across this forum during my searches and figured I would ask here. Maybe someone has been in this situation before and can give me some quick input.

I am currently in Europe and will be in Australia temporarily (~2 years) for scientific research activities on a 408 visa, on some form of fellowship paid by German governent. I currently also freelance (writing/editing/consulting) on the side. When I move to Australia, it is my understanding that the 408 Visa won't allow me to work in Australia for myself or anyone else (condition 8107). Therefore, I was considering opening a company in Europe instead (which would have no employees and me as the only owner) and doing my current business through the company, without paying myself an actualy salary and just taking out money once a year or something through dividends. Would this be OK and not clash with the 8107 "no working for anyone else or yourself" condition associated, and allow me to continue doing my side-work/freelancing?
It is my understanding that this conditions is primarily to avoid someone coming to Australia on temporary visas and competing for other jobs with Australian residents, which does not really appear to be my case.

A few key details:

1) My work is location-independent. I can work from anywhere as long as I have internet. Whether I am living in Australia or not is irrelevant for my current and future customer base.
2) I don't plan on taking up any work from Australian workers, nor to compete with local Australian freelancers/business. I don't flat-out exclude them, but I don't specifically target the Australian market. I could completely exclude Australian customers if that helps clarify my legal/tax situation.
3) My problem is not with paying taxes on the income; I will happily do so, even if that means paying the corporate tax in Australia. Primarily, I want to avoid putting myself in a sitation that clashes with my Visa's conditions. It seems unfair and contraintuitive to have to stop running my own business which is unrelated to Australia's job market simply because I will happen to live there at the time for an entirely different purpose.

If anyone has some tips, or even if you know of some good lawyer I could consult on this, that would be fantastic


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Old 11-20-2020, 03:50 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Syney NSW
Posts: 5,584
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The circumstances you described should not raise an issue.

Westly Russell
Registered Migration Agent
Number 0316072

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