The Basics of Starting a Business in Australia

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Starting a business can be as terrifying as it is exciting. On the one hand, you cannot wait to be able to be your own boss and pursue your dream and passion. On the other, you are now faced with a mountain of things that you need to get done in order to ensure the smooth commencement of your new venture. In addition to that, you need to be mindful of the requirements, laws, and regulations specific to the country where you are starting your business.

If you have chosen Australia as your next business destination, this guide will help you formulate an organized plan to get your Aussie business up and running.

The Basics of Starting a Business in Australia:

1) Choosing the business structure:

Going with the right business structure is crucial, as it impacts many aspects, including:

Your control level.
The taxation amount.
Regulatory obligations.
Safety and health requirements.
Your personal liability level.

Australia allows you to form a business using one of the following four structures:

Sole Trader:

A sole trader structure is used when the owner is the only person responsible for the business. While the owner will be responsible for every legal aspect of their business, they can hire other people as employees.


When two or more entities or people operate a business, it is referred to as the partnership form of business.


This commercial entity or business possesses its own legal existence. This means that the owners will not be personally liable for any business debts.


A trust entity keeps income, possession, or other assets on behalf of third parties.

You need to make sure that you are clear about your business structure before you do anything else, since your chosen business structure will determine the next steps in your business formation process. It is worth mentioning that it is possible to alter the business structure in the future, depending upon growth and objectives.

2) Choosing your business type:

Now that you have decided on the structure, you are better poised to determine a type for your Australian venture. There are numerous business types to pick from, with some of the most common being:

Online businesses.
Independent contractor.

Every industry comes with its own set of regulatory requirements and legal obligations, which means that you need to go with the type of business that is aligned with your chosen industry.

3) ABN (Australian Business Name) application and registration:

Without owning an ABN, it is impossible to initiate a business anywhere in the country. The ABN contains 11 digits, unique to every business. The government will use this number to identify your particular business.

After getting an ABN, it is possible to:

Get the business name registered.
Use the business to place orders or send invoices.
Claim taxes like GST (Goods and Services Tax).
Avail various credits (energy grants, for example).

We recommend choosing a business name prior to developing any business designs, logos, or URLs. Else, you might have to do everything from scratch in case you are unable to get your chosen business name registered. As far as business logos go, you might want to go for a patent if you are concerned about copyright infringement.

While it is possible to make separate applications for both the business name and the ABN, you will find it more convenient to place a combined application here.

4) Register the domain name:

This particular step is only executable after securing both the ABN and the business name, since only registered Australian businesses are eligible for addresses. Your chosen domain name must be connected to the business, and should also be easily findable and recognizable for potential customers.

After ensuring that your chosen domain name is available, you need to visit .au Domain Administration Limited (.auDA)to look for domain reseller and registrar links. This way, you will have a rough idea of the amount that securing the domain name will cost you.

5) Identify the funding source:

For most startups, cash is the key concern. The perfect business plan is of little use if there is no money to pay the bills while you execute that business plan. Hence, being aware of the funding options at your disposal will make the initial survival phase considerably smoother.

Even though government grants are scarce, you can certainly turn to the numerous state-specific funding options. For instance, entrepreneurs who choose Adelaide for their new business can place an application for the SBDF (SBDF) and receive $20,000.

There are several other grants that are offered on the basis of:

Taking the business idea to the market.
Sales and marketing.
Equipment purchase.
Exporting and importing.
Employing workers.

6) Registering for the appropriate taxes:

Getting your business registered for the applicable taxes is vital for avoiding legal implications. The pertinent taxes for each business will depend upon its type and structure, although there are certain taxes that are applicable across the board.

Examples of Australian taxes include:


The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is mandatory for every business with a minimum annual turnover of $75,000.

PAYG withholding tax:

The PAYG (Pay As You Go) tax is a must for businesses wanting to withhold amounts for reasons related to taxation.


The FBT (Fringe Benefits Tax) is for businesses that offer perks (such as company cars) to their workers.

Final Word:

Adhering to this guide and sorting all the essentials discussed in it will ensure that you have got pretty much everything covered. Contact us for help and guidance for your new Australian business.

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