How to Start a Business
How to Start a Business in Australia
Everything you need to know to get your new business off the ground!
Starting a business in Australia is an exciting venture. If you're a new entrepreneur, it's important to organize, plan and plan some more.
Devoting time into planning is the most important step on your journey. Owning a small business is not just about being your own boss, it's also about having the range of vision to expand and flourish.
Before You Start
Step One: Choose Your Business Structure
You have many choices when deciding on a business structure. The four main business structures in Australia are:
Keep in mind your business needs when choosing the right structure. It's vital to research all choices before selecting one.
Your business structure will determine:
You can modify your business structure at any time if things change — if your business grows, or you decide to involve a partner.
Step Two: Apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN)
An Australian Business Number (ABN) is an individual 11-digit number that classifies your business with the government. An ABN is used alongside your tax file number for tax and other business reasons.
You can apply for an ABN through the Australian Business Register website for free.
With an ABN you can:
Step Three: Register for a Business Name and Trademark
You can file for a business name alongside your ABN. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) administers business names through its website. The ASIC registration fees are: $35 for 1 year and $82 for 3 years.
You can also register your business name as a trade mark to preserve its use by other entities. This gives you legal rights to use and license your property in Australia.
Step Four: Register for Business Tax
In addition to registering for a business number and trade mark, registering for the correct business tax is important for starting your business.
Depending on your type of business and structure, there are certain taxes you're liable for. Certain taxes are required for all Australian companies, where others are enforced on businesses of certain types and sizes. Others are optional, but can make things simpler for you at the end of the fiscal year.
Regardless of your business type, you must register for a Tax File Number (TFN). As a sole trader, your individual TFN will suffice. As a partnership, company or trust, you will need to register a separate TFN for the business.
You might be required to register for additional Australian business taxes based on your company structure and services.
Step Five: Register for Business Licenses and Permits
Running your business can't be done without the correct licences and permits. Without them, you might be subject to non-compliance fees or other legal problems.
ABLIS is the online tool that allows you to search the licences and permits you need for operating your business. It delivers tailored reports with licence requirements for your business. It also includes helpful information on licence fees, the application process, coverage and renewals.
Step Six: Arrange for Business Insurance
In addition to avoiding legal issues by acquiring the correct licences and permits, business insurance is necessary to protect your business from other risks. Insurance is important to controlling these risks, especially for small businesses whose uninsured costs could put them out of business.
Your industry, business structure and size will all determine your insurance requirements for your company. Certain forms of insurance are mandatory for Australian businesses, including:
Insurance companies and brokers are a good resource to determine the business insurance you are liable for.
Starting a business in Australia may seem daunting, but once you check the boxes needed to get things going, you can move on to making profits!