Thinking of Starting a Business?

Here is a Checklist to get you started on the right path.

Thinking of starting your own business can be very rewarding and provide you an opportunity to achieve greater work-life balance, spend more time with you family and pursue your passions.

However, a lot of entrepreneurs don’t have much background knowledge in terms of how to get their new business up and running. They end up not following the correct steps and this ends up being extremely detrimental to the success of the business.

Simply not having a plan, is a plan to fail.

To get you started on your new business venture and a step in the right direction, we’ve put together a checklist to get the basics right.

There is a great deal to think about when starting a new business, from product development to marketing and from IT issues to finance.

If you get the set-up of the business right, meaning the basic registrations and systems, then you are preparing for success in a business environment that naturally encourages performance.

1. Your Business Structure.

One of the key decisions you will make when starting a business is your business structure. The choice will depend on the size and type of business, your personal circumstances and how much you plan to grow your business.

However, as your business grows, you can change the structure to accommodate.

Keep in mind, the most common Business Structure in Australia is ‘Sole Trader’

Speaking to your accountant or lawyer to establish which option best suits your current situation.

2. Funding

If you don’t have the funds readily available, you may need to borrow funds or seek investment to raise the funds. Discuss this with your accountant and find out the pros and cons of each option. This may be funding from the Banks, venture capital, personal savings, personal loans, family and friends or several other options.

3. Business Name

Deciding on a Business name is probably the most exciting but the most difficult process, as you’re going to have to live with that name for a long time.

Once you’ve decided on a name you’re happy with, you will need to check its availability and then register it and a URL as soon as possible.

You don’t want to commence printing business cards, letterheads, logos and designing websites before registering your business name or URL.

Imagine going to all that effort, to only find out that someone else is operating under that name, even worse, if you commence operating under someone else’s business name, they can take all the revenue you’ve made under their name.

If the name is available, you can start the process of registering through ASIC Connect.

4. Applying for an ABN (Australian Business Number)

Do you need an ABN? No. Not everyone needs and ABN. If you’re going to be registered to collect GST (annual turnover of $75,000 or more), then you’ll likely need an ABN.

To apply, visit the Australian Business Register.

At the same time, if you’re opening a partnership, trust or company then it will need its own Tax File Number (TFN) from the Australian Tax Office (ATO), too.

5. PAYG (Pay As You Go)

Familiarise yourself with PAYG responsibilities. Employee salaries must have taxable amounts withheld from their payment. Certain contractor payments receive the same treatment.

Speak to your accountant to ensure your business is meeting all its tax responsibilities.

6. Understanding your legal requirements.

A good starting place for small business owners interested in their legal obligations is the Australian Government Department of Industry.

7. Accounting

Good record keeping is essential for your business. If your accounting system is set up properly in the beginning, you will save a bunch of effort and hassle in the long run.

All levels of business have legal and tax obligations when it comes to record keeping. Commercial offerings customised specifically for the Australian regulatory landscape, such as Quickbooks Online, take a lot of the weight off your shoulders, freeing you up to work on your business, not in it.