From Idea to Launch: A Guide to Starting a Business in Australia

February 20, 2024
minutes to read
Warren More
Table of Contents

Did you know that small businesses account for over 97% of all businesses in Australia? Unsurprisingly, many individuals are taking the leap to start their own ventures. However, starting a business can be a challenging and complex process. That's why we've compiled this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the essential steps of starting a small business in Australia. So let's dive in!

Step 1: Determine your business idea

The first step in starting a business is identifying your idea and conducting market research to ensure demand for your product or service. You can take this short quiz to help identify the right business for you. Researching your target market, competitors, and industry trends is vital to ensure your business idea is viable.

Step 2: Develop a business plan

Once you clearly understand your business idea and the market, you need to develop a business plan. A business plan outlines your business's goals, strategies, and financial projections. It is also essential for securing funding from investors or lenders.

Step 3: Register your business

You must register with the Australian Business Register to legally operate your business in Australia. You can register your business name, obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN), and register for applicable goods and services tax (GST).

Step 4: Choose a business structure

There are several business structures in Australia, including sole trader, partnership, company, and trust. Each structure has advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the correct structure for your business is essential. Take the business structure quiz to help identify the right entity type for your business. You can also speak with a lawyer from a firm that specialises in supporting small businesses – such as, Sprintlaw, to help you understand which options best suit your business.

Step 5: Obtain the necessary permits

Depending on your industry and location, you may need to obtain permits and licenses to operate your business. This may include a business license, health permit, and zoning permits.

Step 6: Set up your finances

Setting up your finances involves opening a business bank account, obtaining funding, and setting up accounting and bookkeeping software like Thriday. Using an automated tool like Thriday can help you keep accurate financial records for tax purposes and monitor your business's financial health.

Step 7: Hire employees and obtain insurance 

If you plan to hire employees, you must obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You also need to get workers' compensation insurance, public liability insurance, and other forms of insurance to protect your business.

Step 8: Launch your business

Once you have completed all the necessary steps, it is time to launch your business. This involves marketing your business, creating a website, and establishing a social media presence. You can also start selling your products or services and building customer relationships.

Starting a business FAQs

What are the most popular industries for small businesses in Australia?

Small businesses in Australia are diverse and span various industries, including professional services, healthcare, construction, retail, and hospitality.

How long does it take to register a business in Australia?

The time it takes to register a business in Australia varies depending on the type of business structure and the state or territory you're in. In most cases, you can register your business immediately.

Can I start a business in Australia as a foreigner?

Foreign individuals can start a business in Australia, but they need to obtain the necessary visas and meet the eligibility criteria. The Business Talent (Permanent) visa and the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa are popular options for foreign entrepreneurs.

What are the funding options available for small businesses in Australia?

Small businesses in Australia can access various funding options, including government grants, business loans, angel investors, and crowdfunding platforms.

Do I need a business degree to start a business in Australia?

No, you don't need a business degree to start a business in Australia. However, having some business management, marketing, and finance knowledge and skills can be beneficial. Numerous resources are also available, such as workshops, mentorship programs, and online courses, to help you develop these skills.

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Key Takeaways

There are three key takeaways from this blog:

  1. Planning and preparation are essential for starting a successful small business in Australia. Conduct market research, develop a business plan, and choose the right business structure.
  2. Registering your business with the Australian Business Register, obtaining necessary permits and licenses, and setting up your finances are crucial steps for legally operating your business.
  3. Launching your business involves marketing your products or services, establishing a social media presence, and building customer relationships. Seek professional advice and support when needed, and stay focused on your goals.

Starting a business in Australia requires careful planning, research, and preparation. Following these essential steps can increase your chances of success and build a thriving business. Remember to seek professional advice and support if needed, and always stay focused on your goals. Good luck!

DISCLAIMER: Team Thrive Pty Ltd ABN 15 637 676 496 (Thriday) is an authorised representative (No.1297601) of Regional Australia Bank ABN 21 087 650 360  AFSL 241167 (Regional Australia Bank).  Regional Australia Bank is the issuer of the transaction account and debit card available through Thriday. Any information provided by Thriday is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether Thriday is appropriate for you.

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