Business

Start a Small Business in Australia: Your 6-Step How-to Guide

Every aspiring business owner has a big question: “How do I start my business?” The process of starting a small business in Australia can appear quite daunting when you’re just getting started. Even if you have some experience running a business from your home, setting up an office and contracting employees can be challenging. The best way to learn more about how to start your own small business is from someone who’s been there and done that.

Step 1: Choose the right business type

If you’re thinking of starting a small business in Australia, it’s important to understand the different business structures available. This will help you decide which structure best suits your particular circumstances and needs. Small businesses’ three most common business structures are sole trader, partnership, and company.

Sole trader

If you choose to operate as a sole trader, you will be legally responsible for your business, including debts and legal action. This is the simplest structure from both a compliance and taxation point of view. However, as your business grows, you might want to consider moving to another structure as this can provide a better separation between personal and business assets.

Partnership

A partnership is when two or more people carry on a business together, intending to make a profit. Each partner has unlimited liability for the debts and actions of the business. As with operating as a sole trader, partners are jointly responsible for the debts and liabilities of their business, so they must know exactly what they are getting into before they agree to become partners.

Company

A company is a separate legal entity that must be registered with ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission), and a company has limited liability.

Step 2: Get financial advice

Now’s a good time to find professional help, such as an accountant or financial planner who can advise setting up your business. They can help ensure you’re following all the right steps and get you in touch with other professionals who can help—like lawyers and insurance agents.

A reputable finance broker will be able to gain a deeper understanding of the finer details of your start-up and can fundamentally decide what will work best for the certain requirements of your business. Ultimately, seeking professional advice removes the need for you to do all the legwork, saving you lots of time in the long run.

Step 3: Register your business

Registering your business is one of the first things you need to do when starting a business. It’s an important step in protecting your business name, and it also gives you access to government services, programs and concessions that are only available to registered businesses.

Step 4: Find the best place to buy equipment from

Depending on the type of business you’re starting and what you need, there are several options for where to buy equipment from.

Here are some of the most common options:

  • The local hardware stores
  • Machinery dealerships
  • Online merchants

Step 5: Find a commercial premises

Location is key when you’re considering the commercial premises for your business. You need to consider factors such as the accessibility of the location, and whether it’s likely to attract customers. If your business requires a large amount of foot traffic, you should think carefully about where you locate it and do some research into the existing businesses in the area—are there many other competitors nearby? Are they successful? Is there enough potential demand in the area? You also need to be aware that different locations can have varying rent costs—you’ll want to choose somewhere that is within your budget.

Step 6: Open a Business Bank Account and Merchant Facilities

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to set up your own business, then you’ll need to open a business bank account and merchant facilities. This will allow you to receive payments from customers and pay bills, as well as manage your finances more easily.

You may also want to consider getting a business credit card for buying equipment or supplies for your small business.

Final thoughts on starting my business in Australia

Starting a small business can be an exciting yet daunting prospect, especially when you have to navigate through a new and ever-changing regulatory landscape. While these challenges can’t all be overcome in one day, by arming yourself with this information, you should be able to start your small business with confidence.

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