Ready to be your own boss? Setting up a business in Australia is a challenging but rewarding venture that keeps the continent’s startup ecosystem robust.
But first, here are a few things to consider:
Feasibility – Is there demand for your intended products or services? How will you bring them to market? Doing a feasibility study and evaluating your financial and leadership capabilities will help you determine whether or not you have a sound business plan.
Business structure – There are four main business structures in Australia. These structures involve varying levels of control, liabilities, legal obligations, taxes, and health and safety requirements:
- Sole trader – Under this structure, you will register yourself as the owner of the business, which means you’re accountable for all aspects of business operations.
- Partnership – Two or more individuals or entities register as owners of the business.
- Company – This business structure takes on a legal existence that is separate from that of its shareholders.
- Trust – This entity takes possession of an income stream, property, or similar assets on behalf of a third party.
Business type – There are several business types in Australia, including online businesses, franchises, and independent contractors.
Funding – As with most aspiring entrepreneurs, funding and cash flow management will be of primary concern. Luckily for Australian startup owners, the government offers hundreds of grants each year. Successful applicants will receive matched funding, expert guidance, and tax incentives depending on the grant they are eligible for.
To find out which grants you may be eligible for, get in touch with a grants consultant at Pattens today.
Taxes – Registering your business for the correct taxes will help you avoid legal issues. The kind of tax you pay will depend on your turnover, business type, and other factors.
- Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) – For businesses that offer perks such as company cars for employees.
- Pay as You Go (PAYG) withholding tax – PAYG is mandatory for businesses that need to withhold a certain amount of money, such as employee wages, for tax purposes.
- Goods and Services Tax (GST) – This tax is compulsory for businesses with a $75,000 turnover or higher.
The Australian startup checklist
Once you’re confident that you have a great business idea, here are some requirements to include in your checklist:
- Australian Business Number (ABN) – This identifies your business and comes with several perks, including GST benefits. Application is free. Register for an ABN here.
- Business permits and licenses – These vary by industry, location, and business activity. You can use the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) to do a guided search.
- Business name – Also referred to as “trading name”, your business name is the title under which you operate. When registering as a company, you will be asked to register your business name. If you’re operating as a sole trader, trust, or partnership, you must register with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
You should also consider getting a trademark to protect your business name.
- Intellectual property (IP) – IP offers legal ownership and protection of certain business ideas or creations to prevent competitors from copying them. IP Australia’ is tasked with granting rights in trademarks, designs, and patents.
- Insurance – Protect your business by investing in insurance policies tailored to your business needs.
- Tax obligations – You must register your business taxes with the Business Registration Service.
Australia’s startup visa
The Australian government has launched the Global Talent Scheme (GTS). While still in the pilot phase, the scheme addresses the shortage of tech talent and local startups’ hiring needs.
Under GTS, the startup visa allows tech startups, as well as startups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-related fields, hire and sponsor top global talent under the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa program.
This allows startups to hire employees with specialised skills for niche, emerging, or hybrid roles.
With so many business opportunities in Australia, you shouldn’t let a lack of funding hold you back. Pattens can help you find suitable grants to support your business. Get in touch with us today to get your business off the ground.