4 Things To Do Before Starting a Business in Australia

December 16, 2022
Dan Roggenkamp

Let’s be honest, the idea of starting a business can be overwhelming especially if you’ve never done it before. To top it all off, there’s the struggle of not knowing where to begin, or what to think about.

Fear not, with strategic planning, it’s possible to focus your efforts on the right tasks to kickstart your new business with as much ease as one can have. Here are a few ideas of where to begin your new business journey.

Identify your Big Idea

Everything starts with an idea. “Eureka!” moments could happen at any time - while zoning out from an office lunch chat about superhero movies that you clearly have not seen yet or doing laundry on a Saturday afternoon. What makes a good idea “good”, is its ability to fill a specific need that no other business has.

It is also wise to ask yourself: What makes you the best person to start this idea? The answer: you might have formal education in this field, an indescribable passion for it, or years of experience doing similar work from previous jobs. Whatever it is, it’s ideal to have some type of connection and possess the skills needed to do the primary work of the business you’re planning to start.

Do your research

So you’ve decided that your business idea is brilliant, but how do you confirm that? Drum roll, please…Do your research! 

Collect relevant demographic information on your clients to gain an understanding of opportunities and limitations when it comes to gaining market share. Then answer these important questions:

  • Is the “need” for your product or service enough? 
  • Does your product niche fall into a fad, trend, stable, or growing market?
  • Are there similar products or services available to consumers? If so, how many?
  • What is your unique selling point? 
  • How much do potential customers pay for the type of service or product you're to offer?

When starting a business, you’ll also want to make sure you understand the existing restrictions that will apply to specific services, food, chemical products, and more. 

Choose a Business Structure

One of the most important decisions when starting a business in Australia? Choosing the right business structure. 

Your chosen structure influences your business operations, tax obligations, and your liability. It's a decision that should be about which structure can offer your business the perfect balance between financial and legal protections. 

Read more: Business Structure FREE course

Not sure what business structure is right for you? Take this quiz!

Learn Australian tax obligations

You want to keep your business running as smoothly as possible. Staying legally compliant is one of the key factors to achieving that. 

You must keep in mind that most of your tax obligations will depend on the following:

1. Business Structure
2. Number of employees
3. Fringe benefits you will provide your employees

Others are optional, but make running the business easier. Here’s a list of tax registrations you’ll need for your business:

Australian Business Number A legal requirement to operate the ff. Business types:
  • Sole Trader
  • Company
  • Partnership
  • Trust
Goods and Services Tax Registration is compulsory if:
  • Your business has a GST turnover of $75,000 or more
  • You provide ride-sourcing services for a fare (applies regardless of GST turnover)
  • You want to claim fuel tax credits for your business (applies regardless of GST turnover)
PAYG Withholding PAYGW registration is required if you'll pay salaries or wages. After registering for PAYG, you’ll need to withhold an amount from payments you make to:
  • Employees
  • Some contractors (if you have a voluntary agreement)
  • Businesses that don't quote their ABN to you
Payroll Tax Your business will be liable for payroll tax only if it exceeds the tax-free threshold in the state your staff is in.
Fringe Benefits Tax If you will provide perks to your future employees, you must register for FBT.

Some fringe benefits you may provide:
  • A car for private use
  • Reimbursement for private expenses (ex: school fees)
  • Low-interest loans
- Required - Required for most businesses - Required in certain circumstances

For more resources, visit Taxation for your business.

Need expert advice? Consult our experienced accountants today
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