You have a great business idea, but how do you commercialise it and set up a business in Australia?
Setting up a business in Australia is a great way to earn an income, but taking a few steps to ensure you’re legally compliant is important. Here’s how to get yourself up and running in Australia.
First and foremost, you’ll need to choose the correct structure for your business. Choosing the correct structure is essential, so it’s important to consider all of your options. For example, sole traders are the most simplified business structure suited for low-risk businesses operated by individuals. On the other hand, if you have multiple business partners and plan to expand, consider a company structure that provides greater tax savings and limited liability for the business partners. Before deciding on the structure for your business, it’s best to seek professional advice from a lawyer or accountant.
Once you’ve chosen your business structure, you must register your business with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). If you are a sole trader, you can register a business name; if you are setting up as a company, you’ll register that company name. To do this, you’ll need to create your trading name, fill out the online application form, and pay the necessary registration fees.
After registering with ASIC, ensuring your business complies with relevant state and federal laws and applying for necessary licences or permits depending on your business type is important.
An important thing to remember is that registering a business or a company name with ASIC doesn’t give you any proprietary rights in that name. For this, you’ll need a trade mark registration.
If your business relies on a product and service and you want to stop others from using your name against you, lodge a trade mark application.
Depending on your business, the next item on your “to-do” list is a website. You can build your own using templates available online or engage a company to do it for you. Also, consider including your business/company name in online directories. Again, some you pay for and some you don’t.
Next, you’ll need a business plan. This includes determining your budget and long-term goals and setting targets for success. If you intend to get a loan from a bank to start your business, your bank may require a copy of your business plan to assess your idea’s viability before loaning you money.
Once you’ve done the above, you’ll need to decide on an accounting system to track the financial activities of your business and find a good accountant to help manage your finances. Some good accounting, billing and time-recording programs on the market don’t require a huge investment. But, again, do your research to decide which is best for your needs.
You don’t need office space to set up a business, but you will need an address to have things sent to you and for deliveries. This could be your home address, or consider renting a PO Box or a desk at a co-working office.
Finally, you’ll need to take out the necessary insurance for your business, such as professional indemnity, public liability and workers’ compensation, to ensure that your business is protected from potential legal action in the event of an accident or injury.
To sum up, setting up a business in Australia can be a challenging process, so it’s important to ensure you’re following the proper steps. The most important things to remember are to:
- choose the right structure for your business;
- register it with ASIC;
- register your trade mark;
- build a website;
- develop a business plan;
- get an address;
- comply with the relevant state and federal laws; and
- take out the necessary insurance.
The above steps will help ensure you’re legally compliant and set your business up for long-term success. If you have any questions, give us a call.