Starting a business

Starting a business is a daunting task. This is a general list of things to consider when starting a business. Hopefully, this will make the task a bit easier.

1. Legal Structure of the business.

Are you going to trade as a sole trader?
Are you going into business with another person so will you trade as a partnership?
Do you want to trade through a company or trust?
Each of these structures has advantages and disadvantages. As the disadvantages can only come to light after a few years of running the business, thought needs to be given to this at the start.

2. Business Name
Especially, if you are operating as a sole trader or partnership, are you doing to have a business name?

3. Registration with the Taxation Office.
At a minimum you will need to get an Australian Business Number (ABN) by registering with the Taxation Office. This applies whether you trades as s sole trader, partnership, company or trust.
In addition, you will need to be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) if your anticipated business turnover exceeds $75,000 a year.

If you plan to have employees, you will need to be registered for Pay as You Go Withholding (PAYG). The is the system that you deduct tax from the employee’s wages
and pay it to the Tax Office.

4. Superannuation
If you have employees, and they earn more than $450 per month, you will be required to pay superannuation for them. For ease this can be done through a clearing house.

5. Insurances
What insurances do you need?
Will you need Public Liability Insurance?
This insurance covers customers or clients who are injured at your business premises or work site.
Will you need Workcover?
If you have any employees legally you have to have Workcover Insurance.
Depending on your business, you may need other insurances such as insurance cover for equipment.

6. Records keeping
What record keeping system will you use?
A manual system or a computer based system, such as Xero or MYOB?
Will you hire a bookkeeper or will you do it yourself?

7. Registrations required
Are there any special registrations or licenses required to operate the business?

8. Banking
If you are operating through a partnership, company or trust you should open a new bank account in the partnership’s, company’s or trust’s name.
If you are operating as a sole trader it is advisable to open a separate business bank account.
Do you need merchant facilities so you can accept credit cards?

9. Domain Name and Website
Do need to register a domain name (e.g.
Do you need a website for your business?

If you have any questions or need help contact me, Stephen Kofod
p 0414 252 161

Legal Disclaimer
The comments on this page are of a general nature only and not intended to be specific advice. Before acting on any of the comments contained in this website we advise you to seek advice from an appropriately experienced and qualified adviser.