How to Set Up Small Business in Australia

How to Set Up Small Business in Australia

by Jen Cai

Establishing a small business can be both stimulating and terrifying for new entrepreneurs. On the one hand, you decide how you want to lead your organization and what you will pursue. On the other hand, you are responsible for performing multiple tasks by yourself to make sure everything works smoothly, and you are solely responsible for your business’s success or failure.

Hard work, dedication, and strategic planning are crucial elements for every successful business. As you prepare to establish your own business, carry out thorough research and develop a checklist of essential tasks to carry out. To help you with setting up your small business in Australia, here is a checklist of things that will help you get started.

Things to do before starting a small business

Small Business Australia

Prepare yourself

Examining your priorities and your business idea is the right thing to do before you begin your business. Start by conducting extensive research on your target industry and assess if your business idea has potential. Consider the following questions:

  • Is there need and desire for your products and services?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Is your idea financially profitable?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What makes your products and services better than those of your competitors?

You should also assess your personal capabilities and potential for starting and running a business. Think about why you want to start your own business, and whether you have the skills and expertise to run it.

What will your worker status be? Before you enter into a contract, you need to determine if you are an employee or if you are an independent contractor. If you need some assistance with establishing your business, consider speaking to a business consultant or solicitor.

Make important decisions

As a business owner, you will have to make major decisions for yourself. Selecting the right business structure is vital as it can affect how much control you have on your business, the tax amount you pay, and the regulatory obligations you are bound by. It can also affect the amount of personal liability you incur and the safety requirements in your workplace.

There are four types of structures that you can build your business on in Australia. These include sole trader (where you are registered as the sole owner of your business), company (a commercial entity which has separate legal existence from its shareholders), partnership (where multiple groups run a business together), and trust (an entity which possesses assets for the benefit of a third party). If you are not sure what structure to use when setting up your business, consider seeking advice from an expert.

In addition, consider an appropriate name for your business which is unique, available for use, and exists as a protected trademark. You also need to choose the right location to set up shop. The right location varies depending on what needs you have with respect to factors such as equipment availability, storage and proximity to your clients.

Develop a plan for your business

Planning your business provides it with direction, helps you identify your needs, and even assists with securing your goals. Start by researching where your business fits into the market. Observe your competitors, customers, and location closely. Once you have performed preliminary research, you can work on a marketing plan for your business.

Register your business

To make your business official, you need to register it. This ensures that your business is taxed accurately, avoids fines, and protected from copyright infringement. You can register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) for free. If the name of your business is different from your name, you might need to register for that as well.

Before you start your business, determine what taxes you will have to pay. The taxes that apply to you will depend on what type of business you are starting. You may also need to get a permit or a license depending on the location of your organization and the industry which you are in.

Acquaint yourself with legal issues

Consider becoming familiar with the laws, standards, and codes of practice which apply to businesses in your industry. Being a business owner, you might also need to know the various laws which apply to businesses like yours. These include fair trading and consumer laws which are meant to protect you, your business, and your customers. Consider talking to a legal professional to gain some guidance.

Organise your finances

A key component of managing your business is being able to coordinate your finances. Consider putting a bookkeeping system in place for managing your budget, cash flow, invoices, and payments. You can also use a pricing strategy to set costs for your goods and services that will enable you to maximize profit. A loan can boost to your finances.

Keep your business protected

Consider taking additional steps in advance to safeguard your investment. Business insurance can protect you from extenuating circumstances. Also, consider planning ahead for future emergencies so that your business can recover quickly.

Take the time to explore each component of this general checklist prior to setting up your business. Consider speaking to an advisor if you need any assistance with the business establishment process. 


Hayde, Anthony 2018, How to Start a Business in Australia, HubSpot, viewed January 17 2021, <>

Australian Government, Guide to Starting a Business,, viewed January 17 2021, <>

Start a Small Business in Australia: Your 6-Step How To Guide, Nationwide Super, viewed January 17 2021, <>

About the Author

Jen Cai is a passionate blogger with 5 years of experience in the industry and doing SEO marketing.

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