Starting a business in Australia can be either simple or complex, depending on the way you choose to structure your enterprise.
Choosing The Right Structure For You
There are four basic structures that you can choose from –
• Sole Trader,
Most people commence in business as a Sole Trader or Partnership. As the business grows and takes on employees many people choose to restructure by forming a Company. Trusts are a less common form of legal entity and it is rare that a new business owner would set up a Trust in the early stages of their new business.
Regardless of the business structure you choose, the first thing you must do is to apply for an Australian Business Number, or ABN as it is more commonly known. Applying for an ABN is free and can be obtained in 10 minutes by visiting the Australian Securities and Investment Commission website.
If you wish to trade under a business name such as Jim Brown’s Pizza Palace you need to register this name with ASIC also. At the time of writing, this fee is $30 plus GST for one year or $70 plus GST for 3 years.
In Australia, if you don’t produce an ABN, other businesses will often refuse to trade with you. When applying for an ABN, you need to consider whether you need to be registered for GST. If your annual turnover is likely to exceed $75,000, GST registration is compulsory. If your turnover is under $75,000 registration, in most cases, is optional. Most new businesses choose to report and pay their GST on a quarterly basis.
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