How to Start a Business in Australia

How to Start a Business in Australia

  • Posted by rooshockaccounting
  • On September 2, 2020

We quite often get questions about how to start a business. This article hopes to give you the basic step by step instructions on how you can start your own business in Australia.

Step 1 - Decide on a Concept for Your Business

The first step is deciding on a concept for your business. What area do you feel like you have a knowledge set as well as the desire to dedicate your time to. A business can be anything you want it to be. It can be something small that you run from home, or something that is ran on a global scale. The great thing about today's modern world is that you can start multiple businesses, and at minimal start up costs. Coming up with an idea is the easy part, executing on that idea is the challenge. You will also need to start doing some budgets up to see how viable your business will be. We always recommend working out your break even point and seeing how realistic this will be to achieve.

Step 2 - Choosing the Correct Structure

This is a key part of your business that you need to decide on before moving forward with anything else. The main options you have in Australia are as follows;

  • Sole Trader
  • Partnership
  • Trust
  • Company

How your business is structured will effect a range of different aspects going forward. This is a key decision and it is advised you seek the opinion of your accountant. Having the most effective structure for your situation can help save tax in the short and long term.

Step 3 - Register an ABN & Business Name

You are unable to run a business in Australia without an ABN. Once you've decided on a business concept and structure, you then need to register an ABN. This can be done online for free via . If you are struggling with this, you can use the services of an accountant to help register your ABN. While registering your ABN, you will also have the ability to complete other registrations such as a Business Name, GST, PAYG, etc. A business name will be one of the key registrations you do. This will allow your business to trade under a name that doesn't match the legal entity name. It will also be exclusive to your business.

Step 4 - Set up a Business Bank Account

Now that you have your ABN & Business Name, you can set up a business bank account. By having a seperate account for your business transactions, it makes it much easier to track what is going in and out of your business. While you don't technically need a seperate account for a small business, it makes life much easier when it comes to record keeping. Many banks now offer no or low fee accounts, so this doesn't need to come with expenses costs associated.

Step 5 - Decide How You Will Keep Business Records

Now you have a bank account, you can start spending and receiving money for your business. It is important you keep adequate records of this. You can do this in many ways but the more popular ways are either accounting software or spreadsheets. Accounting Software will allow you more functions and allow up to date reporting. If you choose a cloud software such as Xero or MYOB, you can also collaborate in real time with your accountant. These do come with costs though, so it will depend on what type of budget you have. By ensuring you have this set up early, you will make sure you capture all of your costs when it comes to your first year end tax returns.

Step 6 - Register a Domain Name & Set Up an Email Address

While this step isn't mandatory, it allows you to add some professionalism to your business at a low cost. Registering a domain name allows you to create a website and email address finishing in (or .com, .net, or any of domain extension). You can always set up a free email address but for the low cost, we would recommend getting your own business domain name.

Step 7 - Set up Social Media Profiles

Social Media has become a great tool for any business, but in particular small businesses starting out. Set up the channels that you feel comfortable on and that suit your industry. Facebook is still the biggest social media channel, and all businesses should have a profile on there. Others such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tik Tok and Snapchat, all have their place in certain industries. If you aren't sure on any of these, start educating yourself. These can be great places to build a customer base with organic or paid traffic.

Step 8 - Get the Word Out There and Start Running Your Business!

You're as ready as you ever will be to start getting the word out about your business. You've done the hard work setting everything up and now you get to start actually running the day to day operations. You will face challenges along the way but if you've done all of the hard work and also picked something you are passionate about, you will embrace this challenge!

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