| Tom Bloomfield
A proprietary limited company, often abbreviated as Pty Ltd, is the most common company structure in Australia. Upon registration, the company is issued with an ACN (Australian Company Number). Proprietary limited companies cannot offer shares to the general public.
Under the Corporations Act 2001 (section 41A), a proprietary company must:
Proprietary companies can be large or small. A small proprietary company must satisfy 2 out of the following 3 criteria in a financial year:
Large proprietary companies must prepare and submit financial reports and directors’ reports each financial year to ASIC, the corporate regulator. Small proprietary companies do not have to submit these reports unless requested by ASIC, or unless they are foreign controlled.
A small proprietary company that is controlled by a foreign company (for all or part of the financial year) must comply with certain financial reporting and audit reporting requirements. These financial reports must be audited and lodged with ASIC within four months of financial year end. However, small foreign controlled proprietary companies (that are not part of a large group) can seek relief from the requirement to appoint auditors and prepare and lodge financial reports if the directors resolve to rely on the relief provided by ASIC Corporations (Foreign-Controlled Company Reports) Instrument 2017/204 and lodge notice of that resolution within the time requirements.
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