Want to open a small business in Australia? Here’s everything you must know

Want to open a small business in Australia Here's everything you must know

The idea of setting up your own business in Australia is exciting. However, the entire process of successfully establishing one is challenging.

After all, you don’t want to face any legal troubles. So, it would help if you decided on several factors, like choosing the proper structure, name, registrations, insurance, etc.

To end your worries, here’s an all-in-one guide to make your dreams come true!

Select a business structure

In Australia, you can choose among several business structures like sole trader, partnership, trust, and company.

Choose the one that suits your needs to begin your entrepreneurial journey. In the future, you may change the business structure as it grows.

Assign a name and address for your business

Unless you choose the sole trader business structure, a business name and registered office address are must-haves for registration.

Choose a brand name that can make an emotional impact on your customers. Ensure the business name is available and doesn’t violate existing trademarks.

Your business address mustn’t be a PO box. This address will be your primary business location; you’ll get all official documents.

Figure out the funds

Consider how much financial backup is necessary to collect enough resources and conduct business. This is one of the most critical steps. After all, 38% of startups fail because they run out of funds or fail to raise new capital.

Seek a reliable source of funds ASAP after figuring out the business model.

Choose the officeholders

At least one of your company directors must be an ordinary Australian resident. Get a list of all the company officeholders’ names and their written consent for the business registration.

Register your business

Once the above steps are completed, you must register the business with ASIC. This can be done through the official business registration service (BRS).

After processing, ASIC issues an Australian Company Number (ACN). They register your company and provide a registration certificate.

Get your ABN

An Australian Business Number (ABN) is an 11-digit business identification number.

Conducting business activities, filing taxes and invoices, claiming GST credits, and getting a business domain are necessary.

If you’re a non-resident of Australia, you must provide your identity proof or Tax File Number and the business statement in Australia while applying for an ABN.

Register the Tax File Number (TFN)

Unless you’re a sole trader, a TFN is mandatory for your business to lodge your business tax returns. You can apply for it during your ABN application process.

Register for Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Once your business reaches the GST threshold, register for GST within the next 21 days.

You can also register for GST right after you receive the ABN. However, the process is slightly different if you are not an Australian resident. Then, you must register for a standard or simplified GST. This depends on your business activities.

Get the brand name registered with ASIC

After getting the ABN, you can register your brand/business name with ASIC anytime. For this, you need:

  • Your ABN
  • Your name and contact
  • The address to receive official business documents
  • The principal business address
  • An email ID

Seek help from business registration service provider

While you register a company in Australia, you need to prepare a lot of documents and follow a systematic process. You can do all of it independently, but it’s expected to need clarification.

So, seek an online business registration service provider. They’ll guide you about the necessary documents and laws and wrap the process much more smoothly!

Invest in a domain name

You can get a “.au” domain without ABN/CAN. However, if you want to register a “.com.au” business domain, you can do it only once you get your ABN/ACN.

Create a local bank account

You also need a local business bank account to conduct business in Australia. Don’t use your bank account for business.

If you reside outside, plan a visit to Australia and complete all bank verification processes.

Get the necessary license

Depending on industries, some businesses need licenses and permits to get legalized in Australia. So, identify whether your business needs one from the official website of the Australian Business License and Information Service.

Opt for the right insurance

Seek an insurer and identify the types of insurance your business needs for protection. Some of the most common ones are

  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Expensive Business Assets, Stocks, and Products Insurance


With these systematic steps, you’ll establish your small business quickly. So, start planning right now!

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