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Registration of commercial land for foreign investors

Register your interest or investment if you are a foreign person investing in Australian commercial land.

Last updated 25 June 2023

Registering an asset

Before you invest in Australian commercial land, you may need to apply for foreign investment approval.

After you invest, you need to register your commercial land (asset), on the Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets (the Register) using Online services for foreign investors and comply with your foreign investment obligations.

You must also register a legal interest as lessee in a lease giving rights to occupy commercial land if the term of the lease (including any extension or renewal) is reasonably likely, at the time the interest is acquired, to exceed 5 years.

Registration is required regardless of the value.

Registering an asset is free.

You can find the definition of 'commercial land' and 'foreign person' at terms and definitions. For further guidance, refer to the Foreign InvestmentExternal Link website.

Who must register

If you are a foreign person and have invested in Australian commercial land (asset) from 1 July 2023, you or your authorised representative must register the asset, unless an exemption applies. Generally, the person with the direct legal interest is required to register the commercial land (asset) with the ATO.

Joint tenants

If you have direct legal interest and own property jointly with other foreign persons, one owner must register the asset first. Other foreign owners in the joint tenant ownership will then add themselves to the registered asset.

You need to decide which owner will register the property. Once registered, that owner will need to give the other joint tenants the Asset ID. They will then add themselves to the asset.

Once all foreign owners are added, any owner can access and update the registered asset details.

Tenants in common

If the asset is owned with others and assigned specific ownership, each person who is a foreign person must register the asset with their percentage of ownership.

When to register

A foreign person or their authorised representative must register any interest acquired in commercial land that occurs on or after 1 July 2023, within 30 days of either:

  • purchasing commercial land (settlement)
  • becoming a foreign person while holding an interest in commercial land.

Exemptions may apply.

Settlement is when you can occupy the property if there is a building on it or you can commence building on vacant land.

How to register commercial land

To register, log in to Online services for foreign investors and select Register asset.

For more information on registering and for joint tenants to add themselves to the asset, see Register or manage an asset.

If you own multiple properties, each property must be registered separately.

Online services for foreign investors

If your situation changes

You'll need to update your details in Online services for foreign investors if:

  • you're no longer a foreign person
  • your contact details change
  • you no longer hold commercial land
  • the land becomes commercial while you are holding it
  • the land ceases to be commercial while you are holding it
  • you become a foreign person while holding commercial land
  • details of the registration change, such as partial divestment, title or use of land.

If your:

  • personal details change, update your profile – see Manage your details
  • asset details change, update the asset using Add or Edit an event – see Register or manage an asset.

Penalties and reporting breaches

If you do not comply with your obligations to give a register notice or keep your details up to date, you may face an infringement notice or civil penalties.

If you have information about someone you think may be deliberately breaking our foreign investment rules, you can confidentially report a breach to us.

We use our compliance approach to ensure foreign investors comply with their obligations.

If you are having difficulties meeting your obligations, contact us.

Statistics and reporting

The Registrar provides a report to the Treasurer about the operation of the Register. They publish aggregate statistics of foreign ownership.

The reported statistics may include:

  • number of acquisitions and divestments
  • value of foreign held commercial land
  • land use of foreign held commercial land
  • value of foreign held commercial and by country of ownership.

Only aggregated statistics are included in the report. Privacy restrictions prevent publishing information which may identify an individual or entity.

You can view the latest report on the Foreign InvestmentExternal Link website.