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Investment Law

International investment law governs foreign direct investment and the resolution of disputes between foreign investors and sovereign states, with an emphasis on bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and the arbitration of investor-state disputes.

Investment Laws in Australia

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Capital Raising & Bonding Issuance

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Regulatory & Compliance




Australian Government

The Australian Government welcomes productive foreign direct investment. It has helped build Australia’s economy and contributed to economic growth, innovation, and prosperity.

To protect Australia’s interests whilst maximising investment flows, certain foreign acquisitions of Australian shares and assets are reviewed by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

Once approved, foreign investors are generally treated the same as domestic investors under Australia’s laws.


Levels of Government

Australia is a representative parliamentary democracy with three levels of government: federal, state and territory, and local.

This governance system has implications for foreign investment in sectors such as natural resources, infrastructure, real estate, tourism, and manufacturing.

Foreign investors should have a strong understanding of each level of government's responsibilities before investing in these sectors. 


Foreign Investment Framework

Australia's foreign investment policy framework comprises of the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975, regulations, and the Foreign Investment Policy.


It guides the assessment of investment proposals based on factors such as national security, competition, impact on the economy, community, and government policies like tax and environment.


The investor's character is also evaluated. Proposals from foreign governments or related entities are assessed based on their commercial viability.


Foreign investment information

Foreign entities investing in Australia may need to submit a proposal for approval by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

The FIRB evaluates proposals based on government policy and advises the Australian Government accordingly. 

Whether a proposal is required to be submitted to FIRB by the investor depends on the monetary value, the nature of the investment, and the type of investor.


Investor Obligations

Investors are expected to understand Australia’s regulatory environment and abide by all the relevant requirements.

The Foreign Investment Review Board website provides guidance on some of the obligations that foreign investors need to consider.


Obtaining Approval

Proposals for foreign investment in Australia should be submitted to the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

FIRB outlines the information that needs to be included in the investment proposal, along with details on how to apply it in the policy statement.

What is
Investment Law? 

International Investment Law regulates the entry and operation of foreign investment and is one of the fastest growing fields of public international law.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an important source of capital for countries

When a transaction with a direct or indirect connection to Australia is proposed, foreign investors should consider whether notification is required or advisable under Australia’s Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth) (FATA).

1. It does this through an FATA notification regime administered by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

2. Following FIRB’s review of a notification, Australia’s Treasurer (who is advised by FIRB) may issue a ‘no objection letter’ with or without conditions or (rarely) make an order prohibiting the whole or a part of the notified transaction.

From 1 January 2021, all proposed investments by foreign persons into Australia which raise national security concerns will require FIRB approval, regardless of the value of the transaction or the nature of the foreign investor.

Reviewing the Laws

The Australian Government assesses transactions proposed by foreign persons to determine whether they are contrary to Australia’s national interest:

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