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Business loans for temporary residents

As an Australian temporary resident, you have business loan options to cover startup costs, upgrade equipment or expand your businesses, depending on your visa conditions.

Are you a temporary resident looking to start a business in Australia? The good news is that even if you’re not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you can still run a business Down Under.

Although you will need to be under a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) to be able to conduct business and investment activity in Australia.

How does a business loan for a temporary resident work?

A business loan is a loan that provides you with funds that you can only use for business purposes. You can use this type of loan to cover startup expenses, manage cash flow, upgrade equipment or expand your business. The money you borrow will then earn interest, and you will need to repay it to the lender within a set amount of time.

However, unlike Australian citizens or permanent residents, temporary residents will need to satisfy additional criteria in order to get a loan. You will need to provide details of your visa to prove that your visa allows you to start a business in Australia and to prove that the loan term does not exceed the length of your expected stay in Australia.

Some lenders may also impose stricter criteria when lending to temporary residents, such as requiring a higher business turnover before approving your loan.

How can you compare business loans as a temporary resident?

There are several important factors to consider when comparing business loans for temporary residents:

  • The type of loan. From overdrafts and lines of credit to cash flow lending, equipment finance and business equity loans, there are many different types of business loans available. Make sure you apply for the right loan for your business and that you are comparing apples with apples when choosing a loan.
  • Interest rate. The interest rate that applies to the loan is a crucial factor when determining the overall cost of repaying the loan. Look around for the most competitive interest rate on offer, but remember to consider fees and other loan features before deciding whether a loan is right for you.
  • Fees. Look for details on all upfront and ongoing fees that apply to any loan you are considering. Factor these charges into calculations when working out the total cost of a loan.
  • Repayment amounts. How much will you need to repay on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis? Can you comfortably afford to make those repayments?
  • Eligibility requirements. Read the fine print to make sure you are eligible for the loan. Look at the residency or visa requirements, required business turnover, time in operation and other criteria.

Lumi Unsecured Business Loan

Lumi Unsecured Business Loan

  • Fast approval
  • No early repayment fees
  • Short loan terms
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100% confidential application

Lumi Unsecured Business Loan

Borrow up to $500,000 with an unsecured business loan from Lumi.

  • Interest rate type: Variable
  • Interest rate: from 15% p.a. to 26% p.a.
  • Comparison rate: from 15.64% p.a. to 52.14% p.a.
  • Establishment fee: 2.5%
  • Minimum loan amount: $5,000
  • Maximum loan amount: $500,000
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Loans you can compare today

Name Product Min. Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount Loan Term Upfront Fee Filter Values
Lumi Unsecured Business Loan
3 months to 5 years
2.5% establishment fee
Apply for up to $500,000 from Lumi and benefit from short loan terms, no early repayment fees and once approved receive your funds in just one business day.
Valiant Finance Business Loan Broker
3 months to 7 years
$0 application fee
A Business Lending Specialist from Valiant Finance can give you access to competitive business loans from over 80 lenders. Loans between $5,000 and $20 million are available. Request a call – your loan can be funded in 1 business day.
ebroker Business Loan
1 month to 30 years
$0 application fee
Small business loans available between $5,000 and $5,000,000. Get access to 70+ non-bank lenders on this independent platform.
ScotPac Boost Business Loan
3 months to 3 years
$0 application fee
A business loan for any industry. Borrow between $10,000 and $500,000, with approved loans funded within 24 hours. Minimum monthly turnover of $10,000 and 1 year of trading history required.
Prospa Business Loan
3 months to 3 years
3.5% origination fee
Small business loans are available from $5,000 - $500,000 on terms of up to 3 years. At least six months trading history and a monthly turnover from $5,000 is necessary.

Can I start a business while on a temporary visa?

Yes, you can start a business in Australia while you’re here on a temporary visa. However, not all temporary working visas allow you to start a business, so it’s important that you’re familiar with all the requirements and restrictions of any visa before you apply.

Many business people come to Australia under the Business Innovation and Investment Programme, which is designed to increase Australia’s entrepreneurial talent and business expertise. Most migrants under this program enter Australia on a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188), which allows them to do the following:

  • Own and manage a business in Australia
  • Conduct business and investment activity in Australia
  • Undertake an entrepreneurial activity in Australia

However, be aware that an Australian state or territory government will need to invite you to apply for this visa. For more information on the temporary working visas available and the business activities you’re allowed to conduct while in Australia, contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

What do lenders look at when considering a temporary resident for a business loan?

Lenders will consider the following criteria when assessing your application for a temporary resident business loan:

  • Age and turnover of the business. How long have you been operating and what is the annual turnover of your business? Most lenders have minimum requirements for your monthly or annual turnover. It’s also important to remember that it’s more difficult to obtain financing for a new business than it is for an established one.
  • Your business experience. Is this your first business or do you have a long and successful business history? The lender will consider your track record when deciding whether to approve your loan.
  • Business financials. You will need to supply a full overview of your business’s financials to the lender. This will not only include details of profits but also details of any existing debt the business has.
  • Visa requirements. You’ll need to supply details of your Australian visa so the lender can determine how long you are planning on staying in Australia and whether you are allowed to conduct business activities.

Tips to get your application approved

Keep the following tips in mind to increase the chances of your application being approved:

  • Check the eligibility criteria. Make sure you’re fully aware of the loan eligibility criteria before you start an application and make sure any application you submit addresses all of those criteria in detail.
  • Ensure that your financials are stable. Make sure your business financials are in order before you apply. If you can demonstrate to a lender that you are in a strong and secure financial position, the chances of a successful application increase.
  • Don’t apply for more than you can afford. Be realistic with the loan amount you apply for and make sure you can comfortably afford to repay whatever you borrow.
  • Understand how business works in Australia. Finally, it’s essential that you’re aware of all the legal and government requirements that apply to Australian businesses. Not only will this boost the chances of your loan application being approved, it’s also crucial to give your business the best chance at success.

Need to manage cash flow?

If your business has outstanding invoices, it may be eligible for invoice financing. It's a type of business loan that comes with reduced risk, no asset requirements or interest payments.

Compare the invoice financing products below.

Name Product Min. Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount Loan Term Upfront Fee Filter Values
ScotPac Invoice Finance
From 1 year
No set amount
Improve your business cash flow by financing your outstanding invoices. No minimum trading history required, but minimum 12 - month term and $10,000 in invoices.
ScotPac Selective Invoice Finance
1 to 3 months
Finance your unpaid invoices on demand with terms of 1 - 3 months. 95% of invoice is paid upfront, with no minimum trading history required.

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Tim Falk is a writer for Finder, writing across a diverse range of topics. Over the course of his 15-year writing career, Tim has reported on everything from travel and personal finance to pets and TV soap operas. When he’s not staring at his computer, you can usually find him exploring the great outdoors. See full bio

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