Starting Your Own Business In Australia a Checklist

OK, so you are thinking to start your own business – that’s great!  Here are a few tips on how to get started.

Choose your business name.  It’s one of your most important decisions as in most cases you won’t wish to change it later, so get it right the first time.

Choose your business structure – should you have your structure as a sole trader, partnership, company or family trust.

Choosing the right structure will depend on what type of business you are planning to startup (e.g. retail shop or professional services business) This is where you need to make that appointment with your accountant and talk to them about what you want to do and your longer term goals for your business life.

Do a cash flow budget for the first year so you can gauge how you are going. Most businesses are under capitalized because they don’t bother to do a cash flow budget before they start business. Even if a lot of your cash flow budget involves guesswork, you need to do it so we (your accountants) can recommend the best business structure for your business.

Once you have decided on your product or service that you want to start your business with you will need to take some simply steps to get ready to commence your business. These will be as follows:

Business Name Registration

Decide on your business name – check to see that someone else is not using that name or has this registered as a business name or Company name.Apply for business name registration through the government department in your state.

To register your business name in Qld you need to go to the office of fair trading link below and print out the form at this link. Once you have filled this form out you will need to send this to the Office of Fair Trading along with your certified ID details.

To register your business name in NSW go to: Fill out the form required and send off to the department. Business name registration can take up to 28 days so you should allow yourself enough time before commencing business.

Applying for an ABN

Once you have your business name you need to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) .Next step is to apply for GST registration – only if your annual turnover is more than $75,000 per annum.

Opening up a business bank Account

When you receive your business name and ABN registration numbers and written confirmation of this you will need to take this to your bank and open a business banking account.

Now you are ready to start your business.

Depending on where you intend to work from you may need to obtain commercial premises and if so you will need to find those premises and then have a lease drawn up for your business to operate from.

As a new business owner you will be optimistic that your business is going to be successful and that is great, however you need to think about it if you suddenly could not operate your business anymore. Who would look at the lease commitment on your premises? The landlord doesn’t care if you get sick, have an accident – you signed a lease commitment so you need to pay the rent.

So when selecting the time period you lock yourself into this lease ensure that you have enough cash flow or backup money if the business doesn’t turnover what you hoped it would in the first year.

One suggestion would be to take out a lease on the basis of one year x two three year options.  This gives you the ability to see how your business will go for the first year before committing to a longer term lease.