How To Start A Business In Australia

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Starting a Business anywhere is as daunting as it is thrilling. However, with proper planning, risk management and assistance, there is no reason why your new business cannot thrive, especially here in Australia. 

The first step to consider when planning a business is quite simple; you must ask yourself if your business is viable for you. Put more simply, is it a business or a hobby? Running a successful business requires significant effort on the part of the owner, and some owners simply are not ready or willing to sacrifice so much time, effort and money to something that may not even get off the ground. Conversely, some people who work a lot in their free time at something they are good at, may not feel the need to monetize their labor. Having a business means a great deal of responsibilities; after all, a business is a for-profit enterprise, meaning the owner of a successful business must have a fundamentally different attitude towards the work itself. While an expert trader may be urged to start selling his wares, they may soon find that once they have monetized them, they grow disillusioned with the myriad of other responsibilities they have taken on by starting a new business. While your product plays a heavy role in starting your business, know that in the first months of running it you will be dealing with many responsibilities other than production. Some of these responsibilities will be covered in the following paragraphs. 

If you are unsure whether your business constitutes a hobby or a business, please visit the link below:

If you have decided your business is not a hobby and is viable, not only to you but to others, it is time to take a closer look at the logistics of running your new business. 

The first thing any new business owner must do is obtain the proper license. Often, it is quite difficult to know which license to obtain, not to mention how many are needed. Yet knowing and obtaining the correct licenses, registrations and permits for your business is crucial if you don't want to be buried in legal concerns. Fortunately, in Australia, the process of finding this information is extremely simple, as the government has created a search tool to help you find the exact license(s) for your prospective business. 

The Australian Business License and Information Service (ABLS) is an online search tool that helps you find the correct licenses, permits and registration. By simply filling in your field and location, you can find the permit and/or licenses that are applicable to you. You will also receive a personalized report, which contains additional information on obtaining the required licences, permits, and registrations for your particular business. This tool is invaluable if you want to know exactly which licence to obtain.

To begin this process, please visit the ABLS site here:

Depending on your business, you may also need to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). An ABN is a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business. It is not a tax file number, but it is used for various tax and business purposes. Applications are free of charge. It is important to remember that not every business needs an ABN; if you apply for an ABN and are not entitled to one, your application will be rejected with an explanation. Please follow the link here for more details on ABNs and information on how to apply.

With these steps complete, you can now begin to consider the structure of your business. In Australia, the most common business structures are 

- Sole trader

- Company

- Partnership

- Trust

A sole trader is generally the simplest, and most inexpensive business structure. In this structure, the person trading is responsible for all aspects of the business. Please see the link below for more information on being a sole trader.

A company is a separate legal entity, meaning the company has the same rights as a person under the eyes of the law. This means that a company's owners may limit their personal liability, and exposure to the company's debt. For more on this structure, see the link below.

A partnership, as its name implies, involves multiple people running the company. In Australia, up to 20 people can run a partnership. There are two types of partnerships, general and limited. For more information, click on the link below.

Finally, there are trusts. Trusts obligate a person to hold the property or assets of others for their benefit. Please see more information on trusts here:

Before deciding which business structure to use, it is important to seek advice from a lawyer, business advisor, or an accountant. You can also search the advisory board found here - - to find a business advisor near you.

Another decision to consider is where you will operate your business. A good location is an important factor in any profitable enterprise. Unless you are operating out of your home or online, you will need to buy or lease a business premises. Where you choose to buy or lease must be determined by extensive research on your end. Important factors to consider are whether:

- You will have distributors nearby.

- Your location is a known business centre.

- You have a good sense of the local target demographic in relation to your business. 

- Other businesses in the area provide a symbiotic relationship to yours

- The location is affordable

- The location shows clear signs of growth.

To help you determine which area is right for you, the government has provided useful information on statistics in local areas. Please look here for more details:

Once you have chosen your desired location, you must then decide what type of premises works for your business. If you manufacture goods, it makes more sense to operate out of a warehouse than a commercial space. If you sell goods out of a warehouse, it may be very difficult to attract customers to your location. Simply put, make sure you know the best premises for your business. To help you with this, follow the link below:

Once you have accomplished these crucial steps, you are well on your way to starting your business. Remember that any business requires constant planning. Before you begin operation, it is important to set goals. Once set, you must constantly track them to see whether you are meeting your own expectations. 

Finally, in the world of business management, you will come across many challenges. There will be many times when things don't go as planned, and it is important in these situations to know what to do and how to operate. With this in mind, please visit our management planning templates to make sure you know how to formulate a successful plan, and how to operate if things don't go according to that plan.

While starting a business requires constant planning and many logistical hurdles, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing your own ideas grow and expand. With due diligence and proper planning, there is no reason your business can't thrive, especially here in Australia. 

Have you ever started your own business in Australia? Do you have some helpful advice to share? Leave us a comment below, and help the other young entrepreneurs that might need your guidance.

Ilmoitettu 11 elokuuta, 2017


Entrepreneur & Creator

Nick is the Entrepreneur Correspondent for He is based in Sydney, NYC, & London. His life consists of frequent flyer points.

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