Congratulations! You have an idea for a business and you want to know how you can get this business started. Below is my ultimate guide on how to start a business today in 6 easy steps.
1. Develop a business plan: This can be as simple as one page which documents the following:
- What your business is
- What products and services you are selling
- What is your target market
- Who are your competitors
- Your first year business goals
This plan should be referred to on a periodic basis to keep you focused. It is an evolving document.
2. Determine what structure to operate your business. Are you going to operate as a company, partnership, sole trader etc? If you are a trades-person, then initially it may be best to operate as a sole trader -- which is the least expensive to set-up. If you are going into business with someone else, then either a partnership or company structure may be better. To create a company will cost you about $700 -$1000 including ASIC fees.
3. Get a Business Name. Think of a name that would best describe what you’re selling. Then, check on the ASIC website to ensure that the name is available. If it’s available, you should register the name with ASIC. A 3-year registration is approximately $80. You should note that if you are a sole trader and your business name is the same as your name or if you are a company and it is the same as the company name, then you do not need to register the business name.
4. Apply for an Australian Business Number. This can be done online at www.ABR.gov.au
5. Register for GST. I have previously written about the need to register for GST so I will not expand further other than to say that this can be done as you apply for your ABN.
6. Open a bank account for your business. It would be best to open a bank account with an institution that can assist you in terms of financial assistance in the event that you would be needing extra funding for your business, or a bank wherein you have already established a good relationship with.
So that’s it. You can now start your business today if you follow my ultimate guide on how to start a business today.
However, one additional step that will make sure you have done everything correct is to find yourself a good Accountant. Not only will they assist you through all of the above steps, they can also advise on the best structure for your business from a tax perspective. They will also get you started on the right accounting software for your business so that you can focus on earning money rather than recording transactions.