Recruitment in Australia

Recruitment in Australia: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the monthly cost of using an Umbrella Company in Australia? 

If sponsored they will earn approximately 65%. If they don’t require sponsorship they will net approximately 70% dependent on expenses.

Yes provided they meet the job title and earnings level requirements. The contractor needs to be earning at least A$400 per day and in a 6-12 month contract in IT / Engineering / Finance.

What is the cost of a Work Permit in Australia?

The actual visa cost is $470 and the sponsoring company may charge a management fee on top of that. Our partners in Australia charge a fee that varies from 4-14% based upon the earnings level of the individual contractor.

How long does it take to get a work permit in Australia?

2 to 4 weeks.

What is the estimated net retention in Australia for a contractor earning USD 500 per day?

*update pending

What is the estimated net retention in Australia for a contractor earning USD 1000 per day?

Going through a standard PAYG (pay as you go) structure the contractor will NET approximately 69% of gross. Using an umbrella company this will increase slightly - especially if making use of legal tax reduction measures like a novated lease on their car. On a sponsored work permit they would net approximately 65%.

Read more about the work permit process.

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Recruitment in Australia can be a challenge, but you don’t have to drown in time-consuming admin just to place a candidate. You can simplify complications by using an Umbrella Company (or “contractor management company”), as long as you pick the right one.

Skip ahead to find out how we can help you place candidates faster, or simply read on to find out more about the specific issues you’ll face.

Placing a new contractor in Australia: what are the challenges?


Recruiting in Australia generally requires a lot of complex admin duties, and contractors might end up paying too much in taxes or failing to comply with Australia tax law. It’s important to know what kind of concerns you’ll be facing.

  • Double taxation: Contractors can incur a tax liability in both their home country and in Australia. Many countries have agreements that mitigate this type of issue, but whether or not you can take advantage of them will depend on factors like the length of the contractor’s stay, or the laws of the contractor’s home country. You can learn more about double taxation here (note: this info was written with respect to the UK, but the general concepts will still apply).
  • Withholding tax: If a foreign company is used to provide services overseas, the payments made to that company by the Australia client could be liable for withholding tax under Australia tax law. Find out more about withholding tax.
  • Individual taxation and tax residency: A contractor’s tax liability will often be determined by his or her residency status in their home country and in Australia. Figuring out their tax residency can be difficult and is often tied to the length of their stay in Australia (or out of their home country). Read more about tax residency and individual tax liability here.
  • Permanent establishment: Most double taxation agreements limit the scope of taxation in the host country by providing that a business is only taxable in another state if it has a permanent establishment in that state. A permanent establishment is a fixed base such as a branch, office, factory, workshop, mine or oil well. To find out how to avoid permanent establishment and unnecessary tax liability, read more about the issue.

Work permits

Contractors will need to find a sponsored work permit, which can be difficult and may seriously slow the placement process. Additionally, they’ll need a new permit for each new contract, spawning even more paperwork.

See our FAQ to find out more about the cost and processing time of Australia work permits.

Why use a contractor management company?

An efficient way to manage these problems is to outsource them to a contractor management company. They’ll act as the contractor’s “employer,” handling all of their invoicing, fees, and social security. As Australia tax experts, they also help contractors comply with local tax law while maximising the amount they get to keep.

A quicker, better recruitment process: Working with an Umbrella Company means saving time, effort, and resources. Higher earnings and a smoother transition also make contracting a more attractive opportunity, helping you place candidates more quickly and successfully.

Still, you’ll need to find the right company for you and your candidate.

How to find the right Umbrella Company?

Making sense of the optionsFor free, we match contractors with Umbrella Companies and can help dramatically reduce waiting times. There are numerous Umbrella Companies in Australia and each has its own specialties, services, and payment structures. Choosing the right one is crucial, but it can be difficult when you’re facing a bunch of unfamiliar options.

We’ve developed an extensive database of these companies. We can guide you through your options and help connect you with the best company for you and the contractor.

Get in touch: If you want straightforward, honest advice on recruitment in Australia, we’re easy to contact. Call, e-mail, or chat with us online - for free.

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Work Permits & Payroll - Frequently Asked Questions

Yes foreign contractors can get sponsored for 457 visas provided they meet the minimum sponsorship criteria. This is based on their job title, rate, experience and qualifications.

What documentation is required for a Australia work permit?

CV, passport scan and qualifications. Some nationalities may also have to pass a medical exam.

What is the work permit process in Australia?

The sponsoring company actually makes the application. For the individual contractor all they need to do is submit their CV, passport scan and qualifications.

Can you transfer from a Business Visa to a Work Permit in Australia?

Yes but you must leave the country to activate the work permit.

Can we organise Business Visas in Australia?


How long does it take to process a Business Visa in Australia?

Electronic application for certain nationalities (Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, United States of America) which is processed immediately. Nationalities of these countries may apply through a visa agent, travel agent, airline or Australian visa office outside Australia : Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vatican City.

How much does a Work Permit cost in Australia?

$20 for online application.

Can nationals of certain countries enter Australia without a Business Visa (ex. on an entry visa or visa waiver)?


Yes for citizens of Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, United States of America.


It varies by profession. For IT and Telecommunications it is AUD $8000 per month. For Engineering it is AUD $11400 per month.

What is the monthly cost to run a local payroll in Australia?


If sponsored they will earn approximately 65%. If they don’t require sponsorship they will net approximately 70% dependent on expenses.

How does payroll work in Australia?


The employer makes all deductions at source and pays the net earnings to the employee. There is a payroll tax of 4.75 to 6% which varies by state. Your employer (the company sponsoring your visa) pays the candidate on a monthly basis. The employer deducts medicare contributions of 1.5%, occasional compulsory deductions like the recent flood levy and income tax (which ranges from 0-45%) at source and then pays it to the Australian tax authorities. There is compulsory superannuation contibution of 9% which is made by the employer and paid direct to the nominated super fund. Candidates are able to offset their personal taxable income with some business expenses most notably travel and allowances for working from home. The World Bank estimates employers in Australia spend 18 man days per year to ensure compliance with payroll and labour taxes.




Client comment

"Great advice and excellent service on contracting and immigration solutions in the UK. I would highly recommend Tim and the team to assist you with accurate, clear and concise contracting advice in the UK or any other country for that matter."

Prishen Pillay,Global DBA Operations Lead

Shell International Trading & Shipping