Please see below the responses to frequently asked questions about the 491 Small Business Owners Pathway.
You need to lodge an EOI and then an online 491-SBO Assessment form and submit it back to us by clicking on the submit button.
Yes. Even if you are from an exempt country (UK, Ireland, United States, Canada and New Zealand) it is recommended you take an English test for points purposes.
No, this pathway is only available to onshore applicants only.
Yes, BSMQ does not select EOI’s that choose the option of Any.
Yes. You can use the extra 15 points from state/territory nomination towards the overall points.
4124 to 4125, 4133, 4183 to 4184, 4207 to 4275, 4280 to 4287, 4306 to 4498, 4507, 4517 to 4519, 4550 to 4575, 4580 to 4895.
Yes. You need to have been living in a regional area for at least 6 months prior to lodging an EOI.
No. However you still must be living in an area considered regional for Queensland (see postcodes above at “What regional areas can I operate my business?”).
Yes. You can prove this by providing business BAS statements.
You can purchase the business for market value, however you must show that a total investment (capital investment rather than operating costs) of $100,000 has been made into the business by the time you submit the EOI.
No. Your business does not need to be related to your nominated occupation, but you still must be able to show relevant business experience or a qualification to demonstrate you will be able to successfully run the business.
- Application form
- Settlement funds declaration form
- Bank statement (personal)
- Skills assessment
- Commitment statement
- Evidence of business management
- Evidence of academic qualification
- Evidence of business ownership/registration documents (contract of sale and ABN/ACN/ASIC)
- Evidence of Australian resident employee (not a family member, or a subcontractor)
- Evidence business has been operating for 6 months (BAS statements)
- Utility bill or lease agreement
Note: It is recommended you seek professional legal and financial advice before making an investment or starting a business. BSMQ takes no responsibility in the event that your business or investment is not successful.
We will look at your business purchase contract of sale and other capital investments made into the business over the six months following purchase/settlement of the business prior to submitting an EOI. The total investment amount over this period must be at least a minimum of $100,000.
No, it must be an pre-existing business. A start-up business is not an eligible business for this pathway.
Yes, you need to employ a minimum of one Australian employee. They must be an Australian resident.(Note: An Australian resident for the purposes of the 491-SBO pathway is defined as an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen or a New Zealand citizen usually residing in Australia on a Special Category Visa).
They also need to be working a minimum of 20 hours a week. They cannot be a family member or a subcontractor.
No, it does not matter if the funds have come from offshore as long as you have purchased a business and you have been running it for 6 months before applying.
No, the person applying must be the one operating the business.
The current processing times is approximately 10 days from receipt of a completed application, unless otherwise stated. A complete application includes the processing fee, not just the documents.
You are given 14 days to submit your required documents to BSMQ. If you are unable to provide all your documents for processing within the 14 days, you need to contact your case officer and request an extension of time.
No, you have to upload document through the document portal link provided in the Invitation email. You can only upload one file per document option. If you want to upload multiple document’s then you will have to save the altogether as one file and upload together.
You will need to provide the last two BAS statements.
You need to show payslips, PAYG statements and their passport/VEVO.
By answering the business experience question on the 491-SBO application form and providing a copy of any qualifications awarded and/or evidence of past business experience.
BSMQ also considers successful operation of the business for 6 months prior to submitting an EOI as sufficient business management experience for application purposes.
You need to have 100% ownership in the business. It cannot be a partnership or a joint venture.
No – you must have 100% ownership of the business. The business must entirely be in your name.
The business must be a pre-existing business in a regional area and this also includes franchises. The franchise must have been operating for at least twelve months prior to purchase in a under the 491-SBO pathway.
All pre-existing businesses need to have been operating for at least 12 months prior to purchase of the business (including franchises).
What can be included: purchase of the business (including stock purchased as part of initial contract of sale), capital investments (such as machinery, freezers, vans/delivery vehicles), and renovations.
What cannot be included: ongoing operating costs (such as rent, salaries, marketing and promotion costs, additional stock), and working capital (cash).
Case Study 1:
Q: Gurpreet would like purchase a lease of a petrol station in Mt Isa from the current franchisee holder for a period of five years for $120,000 and pay this off over the period. Would this meet 491-SBO requirements?
A: No, it would not. Gurpreet would need to be the 100% owner of the business and direct franchisee to meet requirements. He would also need to invest a minimum of at least $100,00 before submitting an EOI. Investment over a 5 year period would not be acceptable.
Case Study 2:
Q: Ming would like to purchase a courier business, and the cost of the business is $70,000. The courier van is included separately in the purchase contract as stock at a cost of $40,000. He conducts all of his business from his van. Would this meet 491-SBO pathway requirements?
A: The total investment into the business is $110,000, therefore the minimum investment amount would meet 491-SBO requirements. As all of his business is conducted from his van, he does not need a separate commercial premises and this would not be considered as a ‘home-based business’, therefore this would also meet requirements.
Q: Thi would like to purchase a Vietnamese Banh Mi restaurant for $80,000. She would then like to renovate and fit out the shop and invest $50,000 into the renovation. Would this meet 491-SBO requirements?
A: Yes it would. Renovations would be considered as a capital investment and can be included in the total investment cost. She would need to complete the renovations in the 6 month period prior to submitting an EOI.
Case Study 4:
Q: Gustavo would like to purchase a franchise mowing business in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast which has been in operation for 2 months. Would this meet 491-SBO requirements?
A: No it would not. The franchise would need to have been operating for at least 12 months in the regional location to ensure eligibility for the pathway.