What happens to property of a deregistered foreign company

A foreign company that is no longer registered in Australia may own property in Australia at the time of its deregistration. There are some circumstances where ASIC can deal with that property.

When can ASIC deal with property of a deregistered foreign company?

Generally, the property of a deregistered foreign company will vest in ASIC or the Commonwealth (if the property was held on trust) if:

  • the foreign company is also deregistered in its place of incorporation (i.e. the overseas location) and
  • the property is located within this jurisdiction.

For more information see s588 of the Corporations Act 2001.  

When contacting ASIC's Property Law Group (property.law@asic.gov.au) about vested property of foreign companies, please ensure you clearly identify the deregistered company and attach evidence of:

  • deregistration in the place of incorporation (e.g. an extract from the relevant overseas government department/regulator) and
  • the property (e.g. recent land title search, holding statement or IP Australia registration).

Who to contact if ASIC cannot deal with the property?

If the property of the deregistered foreign company does not vest in ASIC or the Commonwealth (e.g. the company is not deregistered in its place of incorporation or the property is not in this jurisdiction) then ASIC cannot deal with the property in any way. You will need to contact the company in its place of incorporation, where it is still registered, and/or the relevant overseas government department/regulator.

This is only a general guide as to ASIC's approach to the property and rights that pass to ASIC and the Commonwealth on deregistration of a company. This document does not represent legal advice and should not be interpreted as such. Each application or enquiry will be considered on its facts and decided on its individual merits, based on all the information available to ASIC at the time. We encourage you to seek your own professional advice to find out how the law applying to deregistered companies affects your individual circumstances.

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Last updated: 24/01/2013 12:00