Yes. Start up businesses can apply to become an approved 457 Sponsor and employ skilled workers on a 457 visa. In fact, new businesses that have been operating for less than 12 months do not need to have an established training record, unlike established businesses.
They have a leeway of making a commitment to training, towards one the training benchmarks set out by Immigration, instead of showing current training expenditure. This allows start up business to attract international talent to help them grow as a business and seek the needed human resources to thrive.
The truth is, in today's business environment, there is a global economy of trade and the transfer of skills across borders is necessary for Australia to keep up with economic innovations and international business practices. The 457 visa program enables Australia to attract international skilled workers so that the skills, that businesses benefit from, of international talent can be seeded on Australian soil - bearing fruit for the future Australian labour market.
So whether you are a determined entrepreneur, budding start-up or a growing small business, you can sponsor people to work on a 457 visa. What's even more exciting is that you can incentivize long-term employment through visa pathways to Australian Permanent Residency for your international staff. We have helped many businesses with employment retention strategies to keep their international talent working with them long enough to make a lasting impact to their businesses.
So my advice to you is: If you are thinking of employing someone on a 457 visa and want to sponsor them because your business has a genuine need, then don't just "hire" them. Recruit them and invest in their long term tenure with your business so that you get the benefit of their employment and the benefit of the skill transfer to your Australian business and staff.