Top Tips for Starting a Business in Australia

Starting your business can be both terrifying and exciting at the same time. You’ll finally be your own boss, but you now have a long list of stuff you need to check off before you can even begin to ensure it all goes smoothly.

Startup owners have to do a lot of research to ensure they got the requirements, laws, and regulations down pat. To help you, here’s a list of the things you’ll need to start a business in Australia.

Decide Your Business Structure

The structure you pick for your business is essential since it directly affects things such as:

  • Regulatory obligations
  • The amount of tax you have to pay
  • The level of your control
  • The personal liability level you will incur
  • Health and safety workplace requirements

You must choose your business structure before registering it, as each structure requires different ways to do so. To add to this, it’s worth mentioning that you might switch your business structure as it grows and evolves.

Choose a Business Type

man in a suite writing, pen, stack of papers

After deciding the structure, you can better understand the business type you’ll likely need. There are many business types to pick from, including a/an:

  • franchise
  • independent contractor
  • online business

Every industry has a distinct set of regulatory requirements and legal obligations, so you must pick the type of business that best suits the industry.

Apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and Register the Name of Your Business

Unless you have an ABN, you can’t legally begin a business in Australia. The ABN is an 11-digit number unique only to your business and serves as its government identifier.

After getting an ABN, you can:

  • Register your business name
  • Claim taxes like Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Avail credits for stuff such as energy grants
  • Identify your business to different entities for stuff such as sending invoices or ordering goods and services

It’s best to decide the name of your business before creating your assets, such as your logo, website URL, or other designs. Else, you’ll be changing everything if you change your business name. If you do design a business logo, it’s worth thinking if you have to patent it in case of copyright infringement.

If you wish, you can register your business name and ABN separately, but it’s quicker to apply for both simultaneously. 

Register Your Domain Name

You can only do this step after securing your ABN and business name, as you’re only allowed to obtain a .com.au address if you’re already a registered Australian business. It’s also essential for the domain name you pick to be related to your business to make it easier for potential customers to recognize and find.

While you might possess the perfect domain name to go with a great business name, you’re still required to check for others that might have already taken it. Fortunately, there are lots of sites that can help you with that.

So once you found a non-taken domain name, you can proceed to the .au Domain Administration Ltd (.auDA) website to look for links to domain resellers and registrars. Here, you’ll get an inkling of how much you have to pay to acquire your domain name.

Identify the Source of Your Funds

If you’re similar to most new startups, your main concern will be your cash flow. You can have the most competent business plans globally, but it won’t be helpful if you don’t have the funds to keep your business alive while you’re still starting. With this, it’s essential to learn about the available resources to make your initial growth period much more manageable.

Though there are only a few government grants that can help you start your business, there are still many state-specific options. For instance, if you’re opening your business in Adelaide, you can appeal for a $20,000 Small Business Development Fund.

Select your Software Stack

As you begin establishing your business, you have to make lots of big decisions. One of the most critical choices is strategically picking the software to make your life easier while you scale.

While the exact choice of software significantly depends on the business type that you’re building, there are numerous tools worth considering for each business.

Almost every company should use a CRM to keep track of valuable customer information in one primary repository, a bookkeeping or accounting software to keep your finances in check, in addition to an analytics tool to scale business growth.

Register for The Right Taxes

The saying, “The only certainties in life are death and taxes.” also applies if you’re starting a business in the land down under. You’ll need to register for the correct taxes to avoid any possible legal implications. The taxes you have to register for depends on the business type you pick to start, with some only obligatory for certain types and others applicable to every type.