How To Start A Business In Australia Explained: Where Do I Start?

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Students want to know how to start a business in Australia without money.


Setting up a new business is thrilling but requires adequate planning.


This guide discusses the requirements, laws, and regulations involved in each stage of starting a business in Australia to help you with a quick start.


The below checklist covers all the essential things you should do to embark on your new business venture in Australia.



Step 1: Check Your Readiness To Starting A Business


Are you thinking about starting a business in Australia? Before taking the first step, you must evaluate yourself to know what it takes to run a business. 


Check it out by answering a few simple questions below:



Are You Skilled In Running A Business?


Knowledge and skills are inevitable to succeed in business and obtain a competitive edge. Start by identifying whether you are suited to run a business. Do you possess the much-needed business, marketing, finance, and management skills?


If not, several business training workshops and events can help you build the required skillset and knowledge to run your business.


If you like reading, you may also consider "how to start a business in Australia books", such as: 


  • Will It Fly by Pat Flynn

  • Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk

  • Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

  • Women Who Launch by Wagman-Geller 

  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel

  • The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear

  • Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek



Are You Comfortable Working Irregular Hours?


Running a business is not like a fixed 7–8-hour job. A business owner is solely responsible for each aspect of the company and may go the extra mile to achieve its objectives. 


It may imply sacrificing the lifestyle, working weekends, and having less time with family.



Do You Have The Endurance To Cope With Tough Times?


No business has become successful without undergoing rocky times. You should prepare well in advance for challenging times. Only the ones that survive through the tough phases can reach excellence. 


So, along with passion, you must have motivation, perseverance, and endurance to stay rock solid even in hard times.



Are You Financially Sound To Set Up A Business?


Do you want to know how to start a business from home? Many people who can't afford to invest in a dedicated office run their businesses from home.


Although this can help avoid the rental fee, you need money to invest at different stages of business operation, such as during inception, operation, and expansion.


It requires having adequate financial backing (savings or an alternate income) to support your lifestyle and new venture.



Are You Comfortable Without Earnings?


You need to understand that it takes some time before you can start making a profit. You can successfully run a business if you have sufficient financial resources and are comfortable with no earnings.



Do You Like Taking Risks?


Starting a small business takes work. Sometimes you need to make decisions that could involve a loss of money and time. Before you begin, understand the type of risks that your business may face during its operation.



Step 2: Evaluate Your Business Idea


Do some market research to evaluate the potential and feasibility of your business idea. It should be well-intended and commercially successful concerning consumer demand or cost.


Identify your competitors and ways to protect your business idea. Analyse industry trends and determine how much you should charge people for your business products/services.



Step 3: Make A Business Plan 


Once you have analysed your business idea, it is time to take things further and focus on building a business plan. It helps you seek finance, prioritise things, and exercise complete control over the business.


Start by listing what you expect to achieve in your business and what methods you will implement to keep your business on track to accomplish its goals.


Here is how to start a business plan:


  • Determine the business objective 

  • State your financial state: how much funds you have, how much finance you need, and how much do you project to earn in future

  • Write a summary that helps you sell your business. It should include information about your business, industry, business goals, and your unique selling point. 



Step 4: Choose Your Business Structure


Having established the practicality of your business idea, decide now on a business structure that suits the business and its specific circumstances. It is vital as it has a direct impact on things such as:


  • Your extent of control

  • The amount of tax payable

  • Regulatory duties

  • Safety and health requirements in the workplace

  • The extent of personal accountability you may incur



A business can choose from any of the following business structure options:


  • Sole trader

  • Company

  • Partnership

  • Trust 



The following things will help you determine the proper business structure:


  • Any continuing costs

  • How the business tax pays for capital gains, land tax, and income

  • Minimise taxation 

  • Asset protection

  • Succession and control

  • Flexibility to adjust to changing circumstances 

  • Exit strategy



Step 5: Choose The Type Of Business


With the correct business structure in place, choose the type of business that suits the regulatory requirements and legal obligations of the industry:


  • An online business

  • Independent contractor

  • A franchise



Step 6: Learn About The Business Licenses You Will Need


Your work location and industry determine what licences, registrations, or permits you will require to operate a business. 


The Australian Business Licence and Information Service is the best place to learn about government licences, approvals, permits, standards, guidelines, and codes of practice.



Step 7: Obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) 


Have you been wondering how to start a business in Australia as a foreigner? You need to obtain an 11-digit ABN number for your business, as it is a legal requirement to conduct business in Australia. ABN serves as a government ID for a business and is unique for each business. 


Moreover, owning an ABN is necessary to deal with the government or other businesses. You can apply for a free Australian Business Number online via the Business Registration service.


Having an ABN enables you to generate invoices, claim tax credits, and get a ".au" or Australian domain. Non-residents can still apply for ABN by providing their Proof of Identity, Tax File Number, and business statement in Australia.  



Step 8: Register Your Business Name


Once your business is registered, you can register your business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.


Naming your business is helpful to identify a company when:


  • Ordering services or goods or sending

  • Invoices

  • Claiming goods and services tax

  • Make use of credits like energy grants


After you have a business name, you can create other business assets, including the logo, website URL, and designs.



Step 9: Purchase Your Domain Name And Get It Registered


To know how to start a business online, you need to buy a business domain. In other words, allocate an online space for your business. You can buy a domain name like or


If all your business customers are in Australia, you should go for a "." domain. On the other hand, a ".com" domain will be ideal for you if you are serving a global market.


Ensure the business name you choose is related to your business offerings and easy for potential customers to locate your business online. The best domain names are short, easy to remember, and contain the business name.


To register your business domain name, visit the "auDA website" and select an authorised registrar to guide you through the domain name registration process. 



Step 10: Create Online Presence To Promote Your Business


Once you have the domain, the next step is to learn how to start a business in Australia online. Here are some ways to start a business and promote it online. 


Set up an impressive and user-friendly website using free CMS tools like WordPress and Wix


Another thing you can do is create social media pages for your business to find prospective customers. It is a free and easy strategy to publicise your business online, build customer loyalty, and create customer engagement. 


Additionally, you can set up your digital business store or do blogging to create an online presence for your business. You can also list your business in online directories for business promotion.


If you are confident about your business and want to market it successfully, creating an eCommerce website can be a powerful tool for selling ' products online. 


Such websites offer analytics and inventory management, helping improve your business operations and boosting sales and revenue generation.



Step 11: Identify The Source Of Business Finance


Cash flows have always been the primary concern for new startups. Do you want to know how to start a business without money? Government grants are one such way that helps businesses meet their funding needs.


They assist businesses with the following objectives:


  • Taking their business idea to market

  • Sales and Marketing

  • Purchase an equipment

  • Import and Export

  • To employ people


There are more than 1,500 government grants across different industries and sectors worth around $40 billion. Do you want to know how to start a business in Australia with no money? Start finding and applying for government grants specific to your state.


Besides this, a business can seek funds from reputed loan lenders and financial institutions via invoice financing, account receivables, business overdrafts, lines of credit, business credit cards, venture capitalists and angel investors.



Step 12: Invest In The Right Business Software


Based on the type of business, you may need different software to run and scale it. Consider some/all of these tools based on your business needs.


  • Accounting software

  • CRM software

  • Analytics tool

  • Record-keeping software 

  • Blog scheduling tools such as Mail Chimp and Buffer

  • Social Media Marketing tools

  • Project management tools

  • HR software

  • Invoicing software

  • Microsoft 365 for Office Online

  • File sharing tools



Step 13: Know The Regulations


Along with good business knowledge and skills, you should also be well-versed in the basic regulatory requirements for starting a small business in NSW. 


Consulting a legal professional will help you understand the legal essentials, standards, NSW fair trading, and ways to set up and protect your business.



Step 14: Register For Tax


Registering your business with the Australian Taxation Office will help to comply with all regulations, avoid legal implications and ensure your business is taxed correctly. The taxes for which you need to register depends on the type of business you have.



Some of the common types of taxes are as follows:


  • Goods and Services Tax – Registration for this tax is mandatory if your business has a yearly turnover of AUD 75,000 or above.

  • Pay as You Go withholding Tax (PAYG). It is for businesses that must withhold income tax from employees' or contractors' salaries.

  • Fringe Benefits Tax – If your business provides benefits such as a company car to its employees, you register for FBT tax.


Common ways in which a business can register for tax purposes:


  • Online at the Business Registration Service 

  • Through a tax agent or accountant



Step 15: Protect Your Intellectual Property


Many businesses put a lot of time and effort into establishing and running a business. However, they need to pay more attention to protecting their intellectual property, such as business ideas, domain names, company names, etc.


It is vital because registering a business or domain name doesn't give you exclusive rights. It means any of your business competitors can use your business's intellectual property unless you protect it by using the following:


  • Copyright – It covers works related to authorship

  • Patent – It protects the invention of a product, equipment, machine, or chemical composition

  • Trademark – It protects marketing strategies such as designs, symbols, logos, and catchphrases


Thus, IP protection ensures the business that its inventions can't be stolen or copied, particularly when obtaining commercial gains from their use. 



Step 16: Purchase Insurance


Different types of insurance are available to safeguard a business based on the industry type, activities, liability, employees, assets and revenue of a business. If your hire employees, workers' compensation insurance is compulsory.


However, your business must be registered and have the relevant licenses when applying for it to obtain insurance.



Step 17: Open A Business Bank Account


To run a business in Australia, you need a local bank account. It helps to keep a record of all transactions and manage your taxes. You can get one quickly and easily in Australia.





It takes a lot of commitment and hard work to start a business. Before you begin, you should know what is involved and whether you are suited to operating a business. 


Hopefully, this guide has answered your queries on starting a new business and prepared you to lay the foundation for a sustainable and profitable new business in Australia.


In addition to the above, get your business plan assessed by an accountant, lawyer, and business banker to ensure you haven't missed anything.


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