Please see below the responses to frequently asked questions about the 491 Small Business Owners Pathway.

How do I let BSMQ know that I want to apply for the 491 – Small Business Owner (SBO)?

You need to lodge an EOI and then an online 491-SBO Assessment form and submit it back to us by clicking on the submit button.

What requirements do I need to meet?

The requirements are listed on the 491 – SBO website page.

Do I need an occupation on the onshore QSOL?

No. You do, however, need an occupation on the relevant Home Affairs Instrument LIN 19/051.

Do I need a skills assessment?

Yes. You need a skills assessment in your nominated occupation which is listed on the relevant legislative instrument (LIN 19/051).

Do I need to have sat an English exam?

Yes. Even if you are from an exempt country (UK, Ireland, United States, Canada and New Zealand) you will still need to take an English test for points purposes.

Can I apply for this pathway if I am located offshore?

No, this pathway is only available to onshore applicants only.

Do I need to select Queensland as the preferred State on my EOI?

Yes, BSMQ does not select EOI’s that choose the option of Any.

Do I still need to achieve 65 points through SkillSelect?

Yes. You can use the extra 15 points from state/territory nomination towards the overall points.

What regional areas can I operate my business?

4124 to 4125, 4133, 4183 to 4184, 4207 to 4275, 4280 to 4287, 4306 to 4498, 4507, 4517 to 4519, 4550 to 4575, 4580 to 4895.

Do I need to be living in a regional area?

Yes. You need to have been living in a regional area for at least 6 months prior to lodging an EOI.

Do I have to be living in the same regional area as my business?

No. However you still must be living in an area considered regional for Queensland (see postcodes above at “What regional areas can I operate my business?”).

Do I have to operate the business for 6 months prior to lodging an EOI?

Yes. You can prove this by providing business BAS statements.

How much do I need to pay for the business in regional Queensland?

You must purchase the business for a minimum of $100,000.

Does my business need to be related to my nominated occupation?

No. Your business does not need to be related to your nominated occupation, but you still must be able to show relevant business experience of a qualification to demonstrate you will be able to successfully run the business.

What documents are required?
How do I show the $100,000 investment?

We will look at your business purchase contract of sale.

Can I start-up a new business?

No, it must be an existing business. A start-up business is not an eligible business for this pathway.

Is there any limitations to the type of business I can operate?


Do I need to employ anyone in my business?

Yes, you need to employ a minimum of one Australian employee. They must be an Australian resident. They also need to be working a minimum of 20 hours a week. They cannot be a family member or a subcontractor.

Do the funds that I use to invest into the business have to already be in Australia?

No, it does not matter if the funds have come from offshore as long as you have purchased a business and you have been running it for 6 months before applying.

Can I apply for the nomination, but my partner is operating the business?

No, the person applying must be the one operating the business.

What is the current processing time?

The current processing times is approximately 10 days from receipt of a completed application, unless otherwise stated. A complete application includes the processing fee, not just the documents.

How long do I have to submit my BSMQ required documents?

You are given 14 days to submit your required documents to BSMQ. If you are unable to provide all your documents for processing within the 14 days, you need to contact your case officer and request an extension of time.

Can I email documents to you?

No, you have to upload document through the document portal link provided in the Invitation email. You can only upload one file per document option. If you want to upload multiple document’s then you will have to save the altogether as one file and upload together.

Do I have to show my business is registered in Queensland?


How do I show I have been running the business for 6 months prior to lodging an application?

You will need to provide the last two BAS statements.

How do I show that I have one employee?

You need to show payslips, PAYG statements and their passport/VEVO.

How do I show my business management or qualification to successfully run the business?

By answering the business experience question on the 491-SBO application form and providing a copy of any qualifications awarded and/or evidence of past business experience.

What percentage business ownership do I need to have?

You need to have 100% ownership in the business. It cannot be a partnership or a joint venture.

Can I have a partner in the business?

No – you must have 100% ownership of the business. The business must entirely be in your name.

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