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How to start a business in Australia?

Apr 05, 2024

Embarking on the journey of starting a business in Australia can be a thrilling and fulfilling experience. Australia, with its strong economy and favorable entrepreneurial environment, presents abundant prospects for budding entrepreneurs.

Although the process of planning, registering, complying with legal obligations, and exploring financing avenues may appear overwhelming, it is possible to overcome these challenges with the appropriate understanding and assistance.

When equipped with the right knowledge and tools on how to start a business in Australia, it is not really such a difficult task.

What are the requirements needed before starting a business?


Business structure

Each business structure comes with its own set of tax and legal implications. At the time of starting your business make sure you are aware of these and make your choice accordingly. You could choose to start as a partnership, sole trader, trust, or company.


Business name registration

When starting a business in Australia your business name will also have to be registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) unless you are trading under your own name.


Australian Business Number (ABN)

As you start a business in Australia make sure you obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN). ABN is a unique 11-digit identifier for your business, which is necessary for various tax and business transactions.


Tax obligations

Understand your tax obligations, including Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration, Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding for employees, and Business Activity Statements (BAS) reporting.


Licenses and permits

Identify whether your business requires any particular licenses or permits for operating legally. The need for such authorizations can differ based on the industry and geographic location in which your business operates.


Business bank account

Open a business bank account to keep your personal and business finances separate. This may seem like an obvious step but it is an important one in understanding how to start a business in Australia.

Steps for starting a business in Australia

1. Creating a business plan

A meticulously crafted business plan serves as the cornerstone of a successful organization. It involves delineating your business concept, identifying the target market, detailing your products or services, outlining marketing strategies, and providing financial projections.

By formulating a comprehensive business plan, you gain clarity on your objectives, gain insight into potential obstacles, and enhance your ability to attract investors or lenders.

This roadmap becomes an essential tool for guiding your business's growth and ensuring its long-term success.

2. Choosing a business structure

Choosing an appropriate business structure is a vital step in how to start a business in Australia. It aids in fulfilling legal and taxation requirements.

In Australia, typical structures include sole trader, partnership, company, and trust, each with distinct benefits and factors to consider.

Seeking guidance from a professional advisor is recommended to ascertain the optimal structure that aligns with your business needs.

3. Registering your business

Registering your business is a mandatory obligation when starting a business in Australia. If you operate as a sole trader under your personal name, registration is not required.

Nevertheless, if you opt for a business name or a different business structure, you must complete registration with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

It is also advisable to acquire an Australian Business Number (ABN), as it serves as a crucial identifier for tax-related matters and facilitates business transactions.

4. Products & pricing

Define your products or services and determine their pricing. Engage in market research to comprehend customer demand and analyze the competitive landscape.

Establish competitive prices that not only account for costs and yield profit but also deliver value to customers. Take into account elements such as production expenses, market positioning, and customer preferences when formulating your pricing strategy.

5. Funding your business

Explore various funding options to finance your business. These may include personal savings, loans from financial institutions, government grants, or venture capital.

Prepare a detailed financial plan and consider seeking advice from financial experts to secure the necessary funding for your business.

Related read: An essential guide on how to get a bank loan for buying business

6. Protecting your business

Protect your business by obtaining appropriate insurance coverage when you start a business in Australia. Business insurance protects against risks such as property damage, liability claims, or loss of income due to unforeseen circumstances.

Consult with insurance professionals to determine the types of insurance your business needs, such as public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, or product liability insurance.

Additionally, take other protective measures, such as registering trademarks or patents for your unique intellectual property. This safeguards your brand, inventions, designs, or other valuable assets from infringement.

7. Legal obligations

Adhering to legal responsibilities is of utmost importance when running a business in Australia. Take the time to acquaint yourself with employment regulations, encompassing aspects such as minimum wage mandates, employee entitlements, and workplace safety guidelines.

It is imperative to ensure that your business meets taxation obligations, including registering for Goods and Services Tax (GST) and, if applicable, submitting Business Activity Statements (BAS).

Stay abreast of any legal updates and seek guidance from legal experts or business advisors to guarantee full compliance with the law as you start a business in Australia.

8. Building the team

As your business expands, there may arise a necessity to establish a workforce comprising competent experts who can contribute to operational needs.

Assess the necessary roles and skills, and proceed with meticulous recruitment and selection of individuals who resonate with your business values and objectives.

Foster a favorable work environment that promotes a positive culture, and offers continuous training and growth prospects to retain and inspire your team members.

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Best practices for starting a business in Australia

Marketing the business

Create a strong marketing strategy to efficiently advertise your business and engage with customers as you start a business in Australia.

Identify your target audience and craft compelling marketing messages customized to their specific requirements and preferences.

Utilize diverse marketing platforms including social media, online advertising, content marketing, and networking events to connect with your target market.

Continuously assess and improve your marketing endeavors by considering customer feedback and monitoring market trends.

Staying compliant with rules and regulations

Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements is crucial to maintain the integrity and sustainability of your business. This is integral to how to start a business in Australia. Stay up to date with relevant laws, licenses, permits, and industry-specific regulations.

Ensure accurate record-keeping and timely submission of tax returns, financial statements, and other required documentation. Consider seeking professional advice from legal and accounting experts to navigate complex compliance obligations.

Managing cashflows

Cash flow management is vital for the financial health of your business. Keep a close eye on your revenue streams and expenses to ensure sufficient cash reserves. Prepare cash flow projections to anticipate potential shortfalls or surpluses.

Implement effective invoicing and payment collection processes to optimize cash flow. Consider working closely with an accountant or financial advisor to develop a robust cash flow management strategy.

Hiring the right people

Building a talented and dedicated team is essential for the growth and success of your business. Clearly define job roles and responsibilities to identify the skills and qualities you need in potential employees.

Conduct thorough recruitment processes, including interviews and reference checks, to find the right fit. Provide comprehensive onboarding and ongoing training to support their professional development.

Foster a positive work culture that values collaboration, innovation, and open communication.

Leveraging technology

Embracing technology can streamline your business operations and improve efficiency. Consider adopting electronic payment systems to facilitate seamless transactions, such as card payment solutions.

Implement expense management software to track and manage business expenses effectively. Utilize accounting software to automate bookkeeping tasks, generate financial reports, and monitor business performance.

Explore other technological tools relevant to your industry to enhance productivity and competitiveness.

Start & Grow your business with Volopay

Volopay offers a comprehensive suite of products designed to help businesses streamline their operations and management. This includes services such as corporate cards, business bank accounts, expense management, accounts payable, accounting automation, and integrations.

With Volopay's corporate cards, businesses can provide employees with secure and efficient cards for making purchases. These cards offer real-time spending control and can be easily managed through the Volopay platform.

The business bank accounts provided by Volopay enable seamless fund transfers, expense tracking, and reconciliation. These accounts come with robust security features and provide businesses with a consolidated view of their financial transactions. They even allow you to hold multiple different currencies at the same time.

Volopay's expense management solution simplifies the process of tracking and managing business expenses. It allows employees to capture receipts, submit expense reports and provides managers with an intuitive interface for approving and reconciling expenses.

The accounts payable feature streamlines the payment process by automating vendor payments and providing businesses with flexibility in managing their cash flow. This is especially useful for making financial decisions more efficient when starting a business in Australia.

Volopay also offers accounting automation, which integrates with pretty much every popular accounting software to automate data entry and reconciliation, saving businesses valuable time and reducing human errors.

Furthermore, Volopay's platform integrates with various third-party tools and software, enabling seamless data flow and providing businesses with useful tools and a consolidated view of their financial information.

By leveraging Volopay's comprehensive list of tools, businesses can simplify their financial operations, enhance expense management, and streamline their accounting processes. All the hassles associated with how to start a business in Australia are eradicated.

Volopay’s centralized platform offers real-time visibility and control over expenses, reduces manual tasks, improves efficiency, and provides actionable insights to make informed financial decisions. Volopay's all-in-one solutions help businesses focus on growth and profitability while ensuring compliance and transparency in their financial operations.

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