BSMQ series: how to write a business proposal

“A common question from prospective Queensland business migrants and their migration agents is ‘How do I write a business proposal?’”

The BSMQ’s website includes the following text:

Decision-ready applications – a BSMQ series

A common question from prospective Queensland business migrants and their migration agents is ‘How do I write a business proposal?’

The most important thing to keep in mind is that the applicant MUST use the BSMQ business proposal template. BSMQ does not accept a business proposal written by a professional in place of this template (although, if there is a professional business plan available, it can be attached as a secondary document).

Another very important point is that the business proposal must be tailored to the individual’s business plans in Queensland. A business proposal needs to be specific rather than broad. Don’t spend too much time talking about an applicant’s business history (a paragraph is fine), the industry in general, market trends, risk analysis etc. Doing this but not providing specific details about the business will lead to the proposal being rejected.

The proposed business also needs to demonstrate how it will benefit the Queensland economy. Some of the basic points BSMQ assess in approving a business proposal include:

  • Will the business create local jobs?
  • Does the business bring innovative products and technology to Queensland?
  • Does the migrant provide global links to overseas networks?
  • Does the business benefit regional development?

BSMQ is also often asked ‘What business should I start?’ and ‘What are the priority areas for Queensland?’. The simple answer is: If your business idea meets our criteria and you have the market research to show it is a viable business for the area, then Queensland is open to any proposals!

Queensland priority industries traditionally include:

  • mining and resources
  • agribusiness
  • tourism
  • education
  • infrastructure.

BSMQ would also like to encourage more applications focused on knowledge-based industries, including:

  • health (eg medical devices/equipment, biotechnology, aged care)
  • IT-related new technologies (eg software development, gaming solutions, new apps).

Regarding the 188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa – Business Innovation Stream, where the minimum level of investment is $200,000, small retail franchise businesses or cafes/restaurants are not preferred for the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. However, these businesses may be considered for regional areas. Property development is another area that will not be considered for the 188A visa. Property development will only be considered under the Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132) – Significant Business History stream due to the larger scale of investment needed and potentially longer timeframes to generate turnover.

Finally, it is important to do realistic and comprehensive market research before writing the business proposal. Unrealistic applications will not succeed. For example, BSMQ has received applications in the past that focus on building apartments near the beach in Toowoomba (where there is no beach) and a proposal that focused on setting up a garment factory in Brisbane hiring 200 people with an investment of $500,000 (not at all possible due to labour and rent costs in Brisbane).

Comprehensive market research ensures that all bases have been covered and you can properly assess whether the business is viable in Queensland.


Disclaimer: the above is a mere extract of a webpage. The views there expressed might not reflect the views of the Department, the AAT or the courts. The law or policies might have changed between the writing and reading of this article. The author of this article and Migration Law Updates disclaim any liability for any action (or omission) on their part based on any information provided (or not provided) in this article and are under no obligation to keep the general public nor practitioners informed about the matters discussed in this article or any other matters, or any future changes to any of those matters. It is the responsibility of each practitioner to obtain access to primary sources of law and policy by themselves and to carry out their own research and come to their own conclusions on legislation, case law, policies and more. This article is not intended for the general public.


Sergio Zanotti Stagliorio is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1461003). He is the owner of Target Migration in Sydney. He can be reached at sergio@targetmigration.com.au