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Phillip A.
Phillip A.
Doncaster, VIC

A family member is a qualified chef and has moved to Australia from France and wants to start a restaurant. He has a working visa but is there any legal issues from starting his own business. Could he borrow money?

5 years ago


Good Morning,

Yes he/she can start a business. They need to think about the structure whether it is as a sole trader or a company and the benefits and costs. This business has a high failure rate and if they start it as a sole trader then they will be personally liable and could go bankrupt in the worse case.

They can borrow money legally but will someone lend them money is more the question. I'll leave that to a broker. They could borrow private money from friends if they so desired and the friends decided to lend the money.

Go talk to a good accountant about the structuring and ask a good broker about a loan. In my experience loans are getting really tough at the moment.


And I am not 100% up to date on the visa, would need to check what type of visa and the conditions. I have had clients in the past on holiday visa's start a business.

Hi Phillip,

Putting aside the issue of whether your cousin CAN set up a business under his visa, Andrew is on the money regarding failure rates of restaurants, and the personal liability that can arise from a business failure.

I STRONGLY recpmmend that you put your cousin face to face with an accountant, preferrably with CA/CPA qualifications, and runs on the board with hospitality businesses.

It will cost money for the advice, however you probably need to be wary of someone who offers a free consultation, because that time needs to be recouped somewhere by the advisor......and its either out of jacked up charges once you're locked into an engagement, or cutting corners on service......which is worse!!

good luck. And let us all know where this fancy new eatery is so we can all give it a run before it gets all its Michelin hats!!!


Hi Phillip,

Yes your relative can start up a business here in Australia. He would have to register a business name and get an ABN and possibly register for GST, all of which can be done on-line.

However, as far as borrowing is concerned, this is a different story. It could depend on the Visa Class that he has and yes it is possible to borrow money to start up but as he has no trading history in Australia, it may be difficult. And expensive. And he will need some "hurt money" ie some of his own funds to contribute.

If you can find out what Visa class he has, whether he has run a business previously, how much he wants and what it is for, I may be able to assist. Please respond to my email address with the information.


Michael Budge
Bayside Finance group
M 0418 547337
E michael@baysidefinance.com.au

Hi Phillip,
Because I'm personally not a registered MARA immigration agent or Lawyer, I can't give you advice about your/cousin's specific rights or responsibilities in relation to Visa conditions.
One of my Lawyers suggested [strongly] that you find a local immigration Lawyer that your cousin can speak to about the specifics of his Visa, the specific conditions (if any) attached to that Visa and the options to change the visa that may be open to him.

I'm sorry I can't be more specific but you probably already know that making a mistake with a Visa is a sure way to get kicked out of the country, and no one want's that to happen.


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