Crucial steps to take when starting a business

Whether you’re looking at purchasing an established business or starting a new business, there are a number of steps you’ll need to go through before you can successfully set-up shop.

Before you get the ball running on buying or starting your business, make sure you’re aware of everything that’s involved in the process. If you invest enough time into proper planning, you’ll be on track to turning your business goals into a reality.

To help get you started, we look at 8 of the most important factors that are involved with starting a new business in Australia, all of which will help you better understand the structure and purpose of your business.

Decide on a Business Structure

There are four main business structures. These are:

  • Sole Trader
  • Company
  • Partnership
  • Trust

As a Sole Trader, you’ll be the only person legally responsible for your business. This is very common in Australia, especially with contractors, freelancers, and other small businesses. If you’re operating a companyyour business will be a legal entity that’s separate from your shareholders.

In a partnership, you would be operating your business with the help of another person, outside of a company. Finally, a trust is an entity that holds property or income for the benefit of others.

Not sure which type of structure is most suitable for you? The Australian Government has put together a Business Registration Service Beta, which can help you determine which option is right for you.

Apply for an ABN

Every business operating legally in Australia needs to have an Australian Business Number (ABN). This 11-digit number will identify your business to the government, as well as the community. It doesn’t replace your tax file number, but it is used for various tax and business purposes. Applying for an ABN is free and can be done here!

Register Your New Business Name and Trade Mark it

Your new business name is connected to your business and is the main element that determines your overall branding and customer recognition. You can register your business name and connect it to your ABN. However, if you want exclusive rights to that name, and don’t want anyone else to be able to use it, you can also trademark it.

Register Your Website Name and Social Media Accounts

When starting a new business, you don’t have to have a website or register a website domain. However, in the current economic climate, having some form of digital presence is very important.

When you register a domain, you’ll have exclusive access to your own unique business URL, allowing you renew your registration as required. While registering your domain name, it’s also worth jumping on any social media platforms you would like to use to market your business to register your account name there too.

Setting up your social media accounts will be a crucial part of your new business venture, as you’ll need to start communicating with your local community, building your brand name up and gaining some trust within the industry. This can all be achieved through platforms like Facebook.

Social media is an entirely separate subject on its own, but to find success for your new business in the online community, following simple steps like posting regularly and keeping your page personal yet informative will prove to be invaluable.

Find out What Taxes You’ll Need to Register For

The type of taxes you need to register for will vary depending on the size and structure of your business, as well as your operational procedures.

Some examples of business taxes include Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Pay as you go (PAYG) withholding.

Learn more about all of the different types of business taxes in Australia here.

Obtain the Relevant Registration and Licences to Start Your New Business

Different businesses are required to obtain different licenses. These are absolutely essential because if you don’t have them, you are at risk of having your new business shut down due to non-compliance or other legal concerns.

When looking at which licenses you need to obtain, it’s best to consult a legal or business professional.

Buy or Lease Your Business Premises

If you need a retail or hospitality space to operate your new business, a medical clinic or even just office space, you will need to buy or lease a business space. If you’re buying an existing business, the existing property might already be part of the deal, however, you might need/want to source your own new space for the new business.

Obtain Business Insurance

Regardless of what type of new business you’re operating, you will need to invest in business insurance. This can protect you financially against risks to do with faulty products or goods, workplace discrimination or harassment claims, theft or damage to your businesses premises, fraud and much more.

Each of these steps is crucial for new business owners and will ensure you get your business off the ground correctly, giving you the best possible chance of success.


Russell Lyon
Russell Lyon
Russell Lyon is a director at Performance Business Sales and has more than 35 years of business sales experience.
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