Getting Started in Business in Australia

By April 2, 2019 May 6th, 2019 No Comments

Before getting started in business in Australia, there are a few items that need attention. We have many rules and regulations here and you must make sure you dot your i’s and cross your t’s before you launch in.

You may have tossed around the idea of going it alone, and may have wondered what licences or qualifications do I need to start a business? Are there requirements or checklists you need to fulfill before you can turn that dream into reality? Here’s what you should know about business qualifications in Australia.

Things to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

Before we even talk about  getting started in business in Australia, you might want to take a step back first to see if this is really something you can pursue until the end. We’ve listed a few questions you’ll have to answer so you can gauge your own readiness.

How do I Pick a Business Name?

Choosing a business name is the first thing to decide on when you’re getting started in business in Australia. You need to consider what kind of business you’re planning to create, and then think of what would be an appropriate name for it. You may also want to look at the possibility of using it as a domain name when you register it online, and ensure you don’t pick a name that has been used by another business. Think of a name that describes your business and is memorable.

What are the Skills I Need to Run My Business?

Some businesses don’t really require any previous experience, although it pays to do something you already have experience with. For example, if you’re thinking of starting a plumbing business, then you need qualifications, licences and skills that are relevant to it. But if you wish to start a food truck, the it pays to have cooking experience or some kid of culinary skills. Although the food truck doesn’t need specific qualifications, many businesses, particularly trades will.

Anybody can start a business and run it, and many small startups learn on the job. Many have said that an important skill to know and have is how to manage the business once it starts running. Starting is one thing; making it sustainable is another.

Two People Pondering on Starting a Business - William Advisory GroupWhat are the Goals and Objectives of this Endeavour?

It’s good to identify the reasons you started the business and what are your goals as the owner? Writing a business plan, even a basic one can really help you identify this. Many people find having this document, no matter how basic, really helps them keep the business steered in the right direction.

Furthermore, you can start asking yourself if you want this business to become your primary source of income, or just a side hustle. Understanding this and the consequences might give you the proper focus you need in running the business. Do you have a backup plan and how will you make money while the business is in startup mode?

How Much do I Need to Earn so that my Business Becomes Self-Sustaining?

One of the reasons why businesses go bankrupt is because owners have not foreseen how much income they need to keep everything running. It is essential to have a clear idea of how much cash should be flowing in, or else you’re just wasting money, and in worst case scenarios it includes losing your own money.

Am I Running a Business or Is It Merely a Hobby?

As early as now, you will have to determine if what you’re planning to have is a business or a hobby. A business has a structure and you need to follow through with activities on a regular basis, while a hobby is something that you do during your leisure time. The two have varying obligations, so you need to identify your venture properly. For tax purposes, your venture will be identified as either a hobby or a business. You will be able to find out more at tax time, or by contacting a tax agent or accountant.

Have I Created a Business and Marketing Plan?

business plan is something that you can consider as a map when you sail through the uncharted waters of the business world. If you are to get a clear direction and avoid getting lost, then you need to create one, even a simple one. This document includes standard processes of how you run the business, and even tackles how you plan to publicise it.

Your Checklist When Starting a Business in Australia

Now that you’ve decided to dive into the wild but rewarding world of business, it’s time that you make some decisions about the structure and type of business you are setting up. Each one is essential, so make sure you understand the concepts behind them.

Identify Your Business Structure and Type

One of the things that will need to be clear right off the bat is your business structure and type. You can choose one of the four main structures, which are sole trader, company, partnership, and trust. This mainly concerns the business setup from a taxation standpoint.

From there, you can implement your ideas as far as how the business will function for example will it be an online business, will you work an independent contractor, or will you purchase a bricks and mortar operation.

Once you have figured out these you can then go on to acquire the licenses you need, your legal obligations, the taxes you need to pay, how you own the business, etc.

Register for an Australian Business Number (ABN)

An Australian Business Number (ABN) is an 11-digit number unique to your business that identifies the entity to the community and government as a whole. You will need to register for an ABN because it confirms your business identity, helps obtain an Australian domain name, claim energy grants credits, and other benefits that a business can get. Consider it your legal identification as an operating entity.

Team Discussing Details of their Business - William Advisory GroupRegister Your Business Name and Trade Mark

business name is what properly identifies you apart from your competitors and allows your target market to know who you are. This is also connected to your ABN. A trademark, on the other hand, gives you the exclusive right to use that name or any unique branding that you have for your goods. It is basic for a business owner to have a business name, but it is wise to also have a trademark to protect yourself and your intellectual property.

Obtain a Website Name

In today’s digital age, your domain name is a very important commodity. This gives you an identity in the virtual world of the internet. That is why as a marketing tool, you need to have a website name, giving your business an online presence. It is not a requirement per se, although it gives you a huge advantage given the fact the market is usually online. If you wish to get the tags .com.au or .net.au, you need to have an ABN.

Determine the Appropriate Taxes

As an operating business in Australia, it is your obligation to pay the appropriate taxes. As such, you’ll have to find out which are the correct ones that you need to register to. There are some that apply to all, and there are those that are compulsory depending on your business structure and type. While there are others than are optional, it makes life easier for you.

Obtain Relevant Licenses and Permits

There are licenses and permits that you’ll have to apply for when you begin running a business. It gives you peace of mind, knowing you’re not at risk for closure due to non-compliance to laws or liable for legal concerns. In order to identify the said requirements, you can check the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) which can give a comprehensive search.

Determine Ownership of Business Premises

Planning where you transact business is arguably one of the expensive ventures you’ll dive into. You have two options of commercial property ownership, whether it is buying or leasing. At this point, it is wise to consult with a professional business advisor. This way you can get sound input on what plan of action to choose. After all, the cost of either one is nothing to scoff at.

Arrange the Needed Insurance

When you run a business, it is inevitable that you’ll meet unfortunate events, whether manmade or not. You have to protect yourself by obtaining business insurance. That would include coverage to property damage, legal issues, employee-related problems, or other occupational risks. It is always wise to have insurance in place to guard your business.

As you may have noticed, there are a lot of business obligations in Australia that you need to fulfill. It can get complicated at times, so you will require expert help. Our advisors here at William Advisory Group are more than capable in guiding you so you can make this endeavour a success. Contact us today and be a step closer to your dream business.

Getting Started in Business in Australia Infographic - William Advisory Group

Jake Elliott

About Jake Elliott

Jake Elliott is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience offering Outsourced CFO and other consulting services to businesses. His background working "in-business" allows him to provide clients with insights into their operational and financial performance beyond the capabilities of their accountant/bookkeepers.

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