Guide to Starting a Business

by | Aug 23, 2023

 Setting up your own business is exciting but can also be challenging if you’re not prepared. To ensure a smooth start, there are obligations a new business needs to consider. It’s important to note that starting a business is challenging and involves inherent risks. Assessing your readiness is a personal decision, and it’s advisable to consult with professionals, mentors, or business advisors to gain further insights and guidance specific to your situation.

Remember that each business is unique, and additional factors may be relevant based on industry, location, and personal circumstances. Taking the time to thoroughly consider these aspects can significantly increase your chances of success and help build a strong foundation for your business.

 First Steps: Are You Ready to Start a Business?

  • Aside from having knowledge in your chosen industry, running a business requires a wide range of skills such as business, personal and interpersonal skills. Attend business events and training to help you develop the tools, skills and knowledge required to start your business. Use the Events and training finder to find out what’s on near you or online.
  • Talk to people with similar businesses or a trusted business adviser. Use the Expertise and Advice finder to search for expert business advisors who can help guide you through starting your business.
  • Contact your local industry association.
  • Look at the ATO’s website and small business benchmarks to see how businesses perform in your industry.
  • Calculate your start-up business costs: If you’re starting a business, you’ll need to consider your start-up costs. Use our template to calculate the start-up costs of your business.
  • Research financial information for your business – how much will it cost to start your business, to be in business, and can you access grants or loans?
  • Starting and running a business requires significant time, effort, and commitment. Evaluate your availability, dedication, and willingness to take on the responsibilities and demands that come with business ownership. Your lifestyle will change a lot as a business owner. You will need to work long hours and even weekends. You need to prepare yourself as you may have less free time.

Make Key Decisions

  • Create a comprehensive business plan outlining your goals, strategies, financial projections, and operational details. A well-defined plan serves as a roadmap and helps secure funding if required. Use the business plan template to focus your business idea and set some goals quickly.
  • Identify potential risks and challenges that your business may face. Develop contingency plans and mitigation strategies to minimise these risks and protect your business’s sustainability. Be aware of all the business risks you might encounter.
  • Writing a marketing plan can help define your marketing strategy and identify the best activities and channels to market products or services. Learn how to develop a marketing plan with the marketing plan template.
  • Select a suitable business structure , such as a sole trader, partnership, company, or trust. Each structure has different tax and legal implications, so it’s important to consider your circumstances and seek professional advice if necessary. Learn more about different business structures.
  • Are you an employee or contractor? If you are working on your own, you will need to know your worker status. Before entering a contract, determine whether you are an independent contractor or an employee.

 Choose a business name. A business name is the name your business trades under. Choosing the right business name will help create the image you want for your business. It will also help to distinguish you from your competitors. Once you’ve chosen a business name, you’ll need to register it. There’s no need to register if you or your business partner are trading under your first name and surname. A business name is registered nationally with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This allows your business to operate in any state or territory.

  • You may need an Australian business number (ABN). This unique 11-digit number identifies your business or organisation to the government and community. An ABN has its own set of obligations. You can apply for an ABN and other key business registrations through the Business Registration Service.
  • Know what registrations, licenses and permits you need. When you’re ready to start your business, knowing what registrations you need is important. These registrations will depend on your chosen business structure, location, industry, whether you employ staff and the type of business you’re operating.
  • The Business registration – help me decide tool can help you work out the basic business and tax registrations you should consider applying for.
  • You’ll need licences and permits to get approval to do certain activities. The Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) can help you find the licences, permits and council approvals you need for your business.
  • Once you have started a business, you need to meet specific business obligations. This includes any required registrations or business insurance.

 You may also need to:

If you’re thinking of hiring a worker, it’s important to understand your tax and super obligations as an employer. Before you hire your first worker, you need to:

Speak with a Registered Tax Professional:

Speaking with a registered BAS Agent when starting a business is highly beneficial. BAS Agents (that’s us) are professionals who specialises in financial reporting, including preparing and lodging BAS statements. Engaging their services can ensure your business complies with GST obligations and other reporting requirements. BAS Agents possess in-depth knowledge of tax laws and regulations, enabling them to accurately calculate and report GST, PAYG withholding, and other relevant taxes.

A registered BAS Agent can guide you through the intricacies of financial record-keeping, assist in setting up appropriate accounting systems, and provide valuable advice on bookkeeping practices. They can help you understand your obligations and timelines for BAS lodgement, minimising the risk of late lodgement penalties.

By working with a registered BAS Agent , you can have confidence in the accuracy and compliance of your financial records. Their expertise and ongoing support can save you time, reduce stress, and ensure your business meets its reporting obligations, allowing you to focus on core business activities and achieve financial stability.

Have any questions?

Or if you require any assistance in working out how this decision impacts your business, book a phone meeting here or contact us using the form below.

– Team BKSP

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