In November 2012 KEO Films, which had recently won a contract to produce an Australian version of a UK TV series, was put in contact with Ecovis Sydney, because they needed to get their footprint established urgently, before Christmas!
The key issues were:
- What form should the Australian presence take?
- While effectively a start-up in Australia, could they obtain bank debt funding for a commercial property they had identified for purchase?
- How fast could all of this happen?
We quickly determined the most appropriate structure in which to combine asset protection, tax efficiency (in terms of their UK/Australia interaction) and manage their new Australian business.
This included a main trading company, an additional company in which to hold a primary production property, and a further company in which to hold the intellectual property that they expected to develop in Australia.
Within a few days we had:
- established all three companies with ASIC (with David Conley as resident director for each), and had them registered for all necessary taxes with the ATO and OSR.
- Through a referral to a local commercial lawyer, we ensured any necessary agreements between the three entities and the UK parent were being considered, to satisfy Australian/UK laws, as well as potential transfer pricing issues.
- Through a referral to a local immigration agent, we ensured that the client was being advised on options for potential secondments of UK employees to Australia to assist in the local operations, and
- through referral to several banks, we enabled the client to determine the best fit for their needs quickly, and they were able to purchase a commercial property with borrowed funds.
KEO Films enjoyed five years in Australian but for commercial reasons ceased operations in 2017 and reverted to a license arrangement with local third-party producers.
David Conley, Director,
ECOVIS Clarc Jacobs, Sydney, Australia