A Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up a New Business

Starting and running a successful business require a lot of hard work, effort and time.

Most people end up failing because of lack of determination, patience and not planning well. It is very easy to throw in the towel in the initial phases of starting a business, but if your venture survives, the rewards are well worth all the challenges you will face on the journey to success.

Here is a comprehensive guide on how to set up a brand new business step by step:

1. Build an idea.

All the successful businesses you see out there started with an idea. Is there something that you are very passionate about or is there something that you very knowledgeable about? Whatever the interest is, it is possible to turn it into a successful business with hard work and determination. Think about your idea and what makes it unique.

2. Determine the legal business structure of business.

Before registering the business, you will need to decide what type of company or business it is. How many owners does it have or are you the only owner? Does anyone else have interest in your business? These are all sorts of things that will affect how you set up the structure of the business.

For example, if you own the entire entity by yourself and plan to be accountable for all legal obligations and debts, you can go for a sole proprietorship type of business. There is also another type of entity known as partnership, where two or more people are held liable as the owners of the company.

On the other hand, if you want to distinguish yourself from the company’s liability, there are many types of corporations that you can go for. They usually make the company a separate legal entity apart from the owners which mean the company can assume liability, own property, enter into contracts or pay taxes. There is also one common structure that is associated with many small businesses, the Limited Liability Corporation or LLC. This type of entity has features of a corporation but allows for tax benefits of a partnership.

Nevertheless, it is up to you to figure out which type of business is best for your future objectives as well as current needs. You can visit the Australian Taxation Office site for information on different business structures. Or make an appointment with your accountant who should be able to tell you the best way to set up your business, and will assist in setting it up for you – the right way – the first time.

3. Register for ABN (Australian Business Number).

This procedure is mandatory under the Australian law. And depending on an entity’s location and circumstances, it must adhere to various taxation requirements. The ABN also allows you to easily identify your company to government agencies as well as other companies. To apply for the number, go to the Australian Business Register site and fill in your details. It is free and completing the form can take about 20 to 30 minutes.

The online form will require you to provide:

  • Your details
  • Business information
  • Associate details
  • Activities of the business
  • Reasons for the application

More information in connection with ABN, can be found on the ATO site.

4. Choose and register your business name.

This is the name under which the business will run. To ascertain whether the name you have chosen is available, head to ASIC’s (Australian Securities & Investments Commission) website for name availability check. Once you find a name, you will need to register the name so as to secure it. This is also done at ASIC’s site and all you have to do is create an account with the commission and then complete the application online. This should take about 20 minutes and it will cost you $79 for 3 years or $34 AUD of one year.

5. Set-up a Business Bank Account.

You will also need a bank account to set up your business if it is a separate entity to you. And even if you are a sole trader, it is good to have a separate account for the business finances. This is not mandatory if you are in a partnership or sole proprietorship, but it is strongly recommended, because you have to keep clear and verifiable accounts for taxation and auditing purposes.

A very basic business bank account is pretty straight forward to set up with your local bank. You will just need all the details from your accountant.

See the next steps to setting up a new business next page…

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