Visa 491 Small Business Owner – QLD

VISa 491 – Small Business Owner – QLD

This stream is for migrants who are currently living and operating a small business in a regional area. There are no restrictions on business types, turnover, and net profit. Applicants must have full-time work rights and not be currently studying.

BSMQ Requirements

  • Have an occupation on Legislative instrument (LIN 19/051)
  • Hold a valid work visa (full-time post-qualification, minimum 35 hrs per week)
  • Have previous business management experience or a certificate, or have participated in a family business before
  • Has purchased a business in a regional area of Queensland (excluding self-built business)
  • Paid a minimum of $100,000 for the business
  • Have 100% ownership of the business (partnerships or joint ventures not eligible)
  • Operate the business for at least 6 months
  • Hire at least one Australian full-time employee (PR or citizen) who works more than 20 hours per week
  • Provide financial proof

Home Affairs Requirements 

  • Have 65 points or higher
  • Have a relevant occupation on a skilled occupation list
  • Have a positive skills assessment
  • Have competent English
  • Be under 45 years old
  • Submit additional documents


Teacher, engineer, IT, EA, registered nurse, social worker, community workers, translators, counsellor, retail pharmacist, optometrist, cafe or restaurant manager and nearly all other occupations as long as it is on the government’s list and can receive a career assessment.

View the full list of occupations here

Full-time employment

Applies to any visa that has the right to work full-time without any other conditions is acceptable such as 462, 417, 485 and other work visas.

It is NOT acceptable to hold visas without the right to work. This includes subclass 500 visa, subclass 600 tourist and other visas such as 457, 483, etc. However, PHD/ Master 500 students can sign a sub-applicant.

Regional Queensland

All locations outside Brisbane are considered as part of regional Queensland for this visa.

Document Checklist

If you met the Queensland State Nomination requirements, BSMW will send an invitation to apply where you may need to gather your documents

  • Application form
  • Settlement funds declaration form
  • Bank statement (personal)
  • Skills assessment
  • Commitment statement
  • Evidence of business management
  • Evidence of academic qualification
  • Evidence of business ownership/registration documents (contract of sale and ABN/ACN/ASIC)
  • Evidence of Australian resident employee (not a family member, or a subcontractor)
  • Evidence business has been operating for 6 months (BAS statements)
  • VEVO
  • Utility bill or lease agreement

How to apply

  1. Review your eligibility criteria, visa conditions and document checklist from Home Affairs and BSMQ criteria and that you qualify for the 491 Visa
  2. Make sure that your visa allows you to work full time for at least another 6 months
  3. Buy an existing business (you must be the sole owner) in regional Queensland for $100,000 or more
  4. Run the business for 6 months
  5. Lodge an Expression of Interest through Skillselect
  6. Fill the BSMQ 491 SBO form (once invited by BSMQ to provide evidence – upload all the documents to their portal (you should receive a link in an email)
  7. Wait for BSMQ decision

If positive you’ll get an email from Skillselect with a link to lodge a 491 visa application.

If negative you’ll get an email from BSMQ.

If a QLD nomination has been issued – follow the link and apply for a 491 visa.

Important Links

AMET Education can assist you with education, migration, visa pathways to help you work, study and live in Australia. Contact your local AMET Education Office now.

Contact us here:
Phone: 1800 735 357