Starting a business is more than just the process of launching a product or service. It’s also about setting up your company in such a way that it can be successful and sustainable. And that means understanding the legal requirements for starting a business in Australia. Here are some tips for getting started on the right foot:
Consider your business structure carefully
There are several different business structures to consider, each with its own pros and cons. A sole trader is an individual who trades in their own name for personal profit, while a partnership involves two or more people trading together. Companies can be either proprietary (owned by shareholders) or public (owned by the public).
A trust is a legal entity that has been set up to hold assets on behalf of another party, such as a family member or organisation. Trusts don't pay company tax; instead, they're taxed at the owner's personal tax rate unless they are designated as superannuation trusts.
You should ensure that your business structure is appropriate for both your needs and those of your employees. For example: if you're thinking about going into business with friends, it's important that everyone involved has similar expectations and goals, so they aren't disappointed later down the line when things don't go exactly according to plan.
Make sure your business is properly registered
You may have heard it said that Australia is a land of opportunity. But what does that mean for new businesses?
The first step to starting a business in Australia is registering your business name(s) and ABN (Australian Business Number). The process can seem daunting at first, but the good news is that you can register your business name, ABN, and trademark all in one place with Registry Australia. Get started now at registry.com.au.
Protect your business name & avoid infringing on other intellectual property
If you're new to business and have a great idea, now's the time to start thinking about how best to protect it. To do so, there are a few things you'll need to consider:
- Is my business name available? Check by using our Business Name search tool:
- Does my business name infringe on someone else's intellectual property rights?
- Does my business name infringe on any trademarks or domain names?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may want to consider a name change. If your business name doesn't infringe on anyone else's intellectual property rights, then it should be fine.
However, you should still take the time to check and make sure that no one else is using it. You can do this by searching your business name in Google and looking at the results. If you see any hits that aren't your website or social media accounts, then you may want to consider a name change.
Claim your web presence
It is important to establish your web presence before you open for business. To do this, you will need to:
- Register your domain name. You can do this using Registry Australia’s domain checker tool.
- Purchase web hosting. This can be done quickly and easily when purchasing your domain with Registry Australia. We offer various hosting plans to suit your needs.
- Purchase email hosting. You can set this up along with your domain and hosting when using our online dashboard.
Understand the laws & licenses required in your industry
Once you’ve got a business plan, it’s time to start making sure that your chosen industry is legal. There are many laws and regulations in Australia that regulate the types of businesses allowed, who can run them and what they can do. You should also be aware of any local licensing or certification requirements for your chosen industry.
If you operate as an individual with no physical location for your business, such as if you work from home or have customers come to visit you at another location – this may not apply to you. However, if you operate out of a physical location (such as an office), there may be more government regulation around this type of business activity than others. If so, these regulations will vary by state/territory and by industry type – so it's important to research what's required before opening your doors so there aren't any surprises later down the track!
There are certain industries where additional licenses might be required too - like taxi drivers or tradespeople who perform certain types of work without being directly employed by someone else (for example plumbers). Other licenses include things like liquor licenses or food safety certifications which relate specifically towards serving food products directly into people's mouths rather than just selling pre-packaged products like groceries
Look into business insurance
Business insurance is a must. You’ll want to cover your business against any potential financial loss, including:
- Public liability (i.e., 3rd party injury or damage)
- Equipment & Tools of Trade
- Property damage
- Income protection
- Motor Vehicle insurance
If you don’t have enough insurance coverage and something goes wrong, it could be extremely costly for you and your business. The best thing to do is get quotes from several different companies so that you can compare them and make sure that the policy is sufficient for your situation. If uncertain, you can engage a broker through a company such as Connect Business Insurance who can help you find the best cover for you and your business.
Starting Up a Business?
Starting a business can be a daunting process, but the tips above will help you to avoid some common pitfalls and ensure that your business is set up correctly. If you have any questions about the legal requirements of starting a business or need assistance in registering one, please contact us today. We are here to help!