Welcome to StartUp Guide AU We hope you find the information here useful for your new business venture!
The opportunities for startups today have never been greater. Entrepreneurs wrestle in a competitive global market that is now driven by digital and web technology. For many, starting a new business can be daunting. The startup process and regulations that govern businesses in Australia are strict. If you are a first-time entrepreneur or if you are new to business, the StartUpGuide AU welcomes you! Here you will find resources we have collectively put together to help you kick start your idea.
Starting a Business in Australia The First Steps To Forever
1. Create a Business Plan Thousands of startups and new businesses open their doors every day. If today is the day you decide you are ready, it is essential that you know what sort of commercial activity you intend to carry out. Are you selling a service or a product? By now it is assumed, you have already thought of an idea and have tested it. A business plan takes a lot of mental energy and time to perfect but it is every second worth it. Your business plan should analyse the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of your business. It is important to next, test your idea. Do your homework by identifying your target market. Generally, it would be recommended you narrow your audience down to a very tight niche. "All university students" is not a niche at all. A good niche would go something like this: "Final year law students who are seeking to secure their first internship at a top tier law firm specialising in mining and construction law". Once you identify your target market, ask around, send emails and conduct surveys. Keep your investors and your team informed.
2. Check and Arrange your Financials Deciding what you want to sell is one thing, arranging the finance and capital raising is another kettle of fish altogether. It is advisable that you consult a financial advisor, lawyer or accountant for expert opinion on the feasibility of your business idea. You will need enough startup funds to pay the required fees for your business registration, name, trademark, website domain and licensing as a start. From there you will need to work out the projected costs and funds needed for ideally, the next 5-10 years. This part is crucial when you are preparing a proposal for prospective investors in your startup. Your investors will want to see figures and evidence that show that the business can be sustainable in the long run.
3. Choose your Business Structure Every business requires a structure that will affect the amount of tax the business pays, asset protection and ongoing costs. Choosing the right business structure depends on several factors such as the size and type of business, how much you intend to grow your business and your personal circumstances. It is recommended that you speak to an expert if you are unsure of the best business structure for you. Experts who can advise in this area include accountants, tax consultants and lawyers. The 4 business structures that are commonly used are: A. Sole Trader B. Partnership C. Company D. Trust
4. Register an Australian Business Number (ABN) It is possible to run a business without an ABN. However, applying for one is highly recommended. Without an ABN, other businesses must withhold 49% of payments they make to your business as an adherence to the strict tax laws in this country. Applying for an ABN will allow you to apply for other taxes such as company tax, GST etc. Registeryour ABN for free here. There is no cost to apply for an ABN but certain companies such as ABN Go (see below) can help you register an ABN for as low as $33 taking the stress away.
5. Register an Australian Business Name with ASIC If you are deciding to operate a business under a name that is not your own, you must register for an Australian Business Name. In order to do so, you will need to first register your ABN (see Step 4 above). Registering a business name does not mean you have exclusive rights to the name. You will need to check whether your business name has already been trademarked. Visit and search www.ipaustralia.gov.au to see if you can still claim exclusive rights to the business name. If the name is available, register your business name here.
6. Register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a broad based 10% tax rate on most goods sold and services provided in exchange for money. GST is required for most businesses. If your business has a current or expected turnover of $75,000 and above, GST is compulsory. There can be severe penalties for failing to declare income for taxation purposes. For non profit organisations, GST is required if the organisation's turnover exceeds $150,000. The GST turnover is calculated from the gross income of your business and not the business' profits. You can register for GST here.
7. Register your Trademark A trade mark is a way of identifying goods or service. It is used to distinguish businesses from each other. Any business person can trade mark their business logo, name and identity. A trade mark isn't just the logo of a business but could cover words, letters, phrase, sound, shape, packaging, phrase, slogan or even a combination of all of them. A trade mark is should not be confused as a design. A trade mark can be removed if it isn't in active use. Anyone can apply for your trade mark to be removed on the grounds of non use. You can apply for a trademark for your business here.
8. Apply for Relevant Licensing for your Business You may be required to obtain a licence for the particular industry you are in. Carrying out a business without an appropriate licence in effect can result in serious consequences, penalties and/or fines. You can carry out a search to find out which licence your business requires by visiting the Australian Business Licence and Information Service website. Finally, register anAustralian Business Account to help manage your government related licences, permits and registrations.
9. Arrange your Insurance Insurance is important in ensuring your business does not suffer huge losses in the event of a claim on your business as a result of professional negligence, workplace accidents, public liability etc. An insurance policy requires a payment of premium for the period you are covered by the insurance. There are different plans available and you can choose how much you wish to be covered. We recommend you compare quotes by different providers. Be transparent and tell the sales agent all the possible risks to your business. You do not want to be caught in a situation in the future where your insurance falls short in its scope of coverage, just because you wanted to save on premium.
10. Build and Market your Brand The basic legal structure of your business has now been set up. It is time to market and build your brand. You should have a website that is hosted. Social media presence is a must have for startups intending to reach a large target audience. Promoting your startup's project can be more effective than promoting the startup itself if you are using Facebook ads. People want to know what you are offering them and how their life can improve as a result of your product or service. They are not interest with your startup and what it can achieve. This is a fundamental rule of marketing. Understand how to solve your client's problems and show them exactly how you can do it.