New Business

Starting a Business in Australia: Help & Advice to Start a New Business

Starting a business in Australia or any other part of the world is, no doubt, an exciting and downright scary undertaking. It is also one of the most fulfilling things you’ll ever do in your life.

According to statistics from the Australian Small Business Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO), only 69.3 per cent of small businesses that employ between one and four individuals, make it to their fourth anniversary.

So, to avoid becoming another statistic, you need to get things right from the get-go. This guide explores some useful tips and advice you can use if you’re thinking of starting a business.

Starting a Business in Australia 101 – Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Whether you want to start a new business from scratch, buy an already-established one, or transform your hobby into an income-generating venture, you need to prepare for any potential challenges you may run into. Here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind.

Review Your Business Idea

It is one thing to have a great idea for a business. But, it’s a whole other monster to turn it into reality. As great as your idea may be, you may not necessarily be the best person to build it. You need to have the skills required to grow it and see it succeed.

The “why” behind starting it also needs to be clear. You need to check that your idea is not only viable but that you have the financial muscle required to get it off the ground.

Identify Your Customers and Competition

Before you can even devote resources to set up a business, you need to understand every aspect of the market you intend to operate in. First, you need to learn about your customers. Find out what their habits are, what needs they want to be addressed, and where to find them.

You also need to identify who your competition is. What’s their product specialty, their pricing, and what makes them so popular?

Develop a Comprehensive Business Plan

As the adage goes – If you fail to plan, you’re essentially planning to fail. This is arguably the most important step in starting a business in Australia. You need to explore every aspect of it – on an operational, marketing, and financial front.

This is especially important if you’re looking to get external funding. Potential investors and money lenders will want to see the true potential of your business idea before they can put money in it. Besides, the plan also comes in handy to help you identify your short and long term goals, as well as come up with strategies to help you achieve them.

Identify Risk

The success and longevity of your business also rely on your ability to protect it in times of change or crisis. You, therefore, need to come up with a succession and emergency management plan to safeguard it against potential risks.

The plan should detail what to do in case you retire or were no longer able to run your business. It should also enumerate what would happen during a natural disaster or anything that would cause a technological or operational disruption.

Determine Your Business Structure

You need to choose a structure that is best suited to your overall business goals and needs. The four types of structures to consider include:

  • Sole trader – This applies if you intend to trade on your own
  • Partnership – This applies to a group or association of people who run a business together. Profits and losses are distributed equally among everyone involved
  • Company – This is a legal entity owned by shareholders and run by a board of directors
  • Trust – This is a legal entity charged with, holding assets or income on behalf of its beneficiaries

Check If Your Business Name Is Available

You’ll need to pick a name under which your business will operate. To do this, you first need to find out if it is available by searching the Business Names Register on the ASIC Connect website.

Register Your Business

Once your selected name is available, the next step involves applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and registering your business name. An ABN is a unique code allocated to your business to help identify it to the government for monitoring purposes, as well as to other entities.

Register Your Business Website Domain

You’ll need to give your business an online identity to allow your customers to find it easily. Ensure that you pick a name that represents your business, is memorable, and has no more than three syllables.

If you want a “”, “”, or any other country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), you’ll need to have an ABN or ACN (Australian Company Name). Only then can you register it through an Australian Domain Name Authority (auDA) –accredited domain registrar.

Establish Your Worker Status

When working on your own, you need to determine if you’re an employee or working as an independent contractor. Here’s the difference.

An independent contractor works for themselves. You would essentially be your own boss. An employee works in another business entity that pays them a wage and controls how they do their work.

Understand How Tax Works

This is an important aspect of running a business. You need to make sure that you understand the tax requirements to avoid penalties or incorrect taxation. Use the Business Registration Service to register your business for taxes.

Arrange for Funding

One fundamental concept you need to master early on is how to manage your cash flow. This could be the make or break for your business.

It is always a good idea to consult with a financial adviser before setting up your business. It will help you determine the amount of funding you’ll require. If you need startup capital, there are several options worth exploring.

Get It Right From the Get-Go

Starting a business in Australia is pretty straightforward. Ensuring it survives is where the real challenge lies. Use the tips detailed in this guide to get started on the right foot.

If you’re looking for startup capital, use our online resource to put you in touch with 70+ non-bank business lenders, and get an unsecured business loan in as little as 2 minutes!

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