How to register a company in Australia – a short guide

How to register a company in Australia – a short guide

In this article, we will look at how to register a company in Australia. Starting and registering your own business in Australia is not a hard thing

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In this article, we will look at how to register a company in Australia. Starting and registering your own business in Australia is not a hard thing to do.

Before you’re ready to call yourself an official business in Australia, there are basic things that you need to achieve. One, you need to set up your tax file number; two you’re going to want to have a business name registered; three you’re going to need an Australian business number set up or potentially an ACN not an AVM and four you’re going to need a domain name and website if you want to compete online.

How to register a company in Australia – the business plan

Let’s face it, whether it’s a business in Australia, the UK or the United States, before you get started you’ve got to make sure you have a business concept. So you want to make sure that you know what sort of business you want to get into.

Some people get really tied up into doing offline business planning. A full-on documentary business plan is only really important if you need finance or you need you need to get money. So that’s the only real time you need a fully documented business plan.

Agreed, it’s good to have cash flow projections; it’s good to have a plan written down, but typically in business, it is very rare that everything will go to plan – especially if you don’t have historical data.

So, honestly, I would not spend too much time and resources towards producing a refined 100-page business plan.

I would focus more on doing what needs to be done quickly to get to market and get selling or get the product out there because that’s what is going to be the ‘acid test’ for the business idea.

Remember, in business, you’ve only got two resources – time and/or money. From experience, you will often not have both.

Business name

With your business concept, you also need to go about coming up with a business name. Check to see that nobody else already uses or has already registered the business name that you want.

It is wise to find a business name that is catchy, short and easy to remember. Since you are also going to be using the same name to register a domain name for the business’ website, I would also suggest that you find a name that is ‘SEO-ready’.

Business structure

You will also need to choose your business structure and type. That’s really important in Australia. If you’re staying really small or you are testing out a concept, you might want to start as a sole trader.

As a sole trader, the business is basically your name and your writing under your personal income, so you’ve got no protection – it’s fully liable on you. For example, if the business takes out a loan and loses all the money, you will be held 100% liable for that loan.

From sole trader, you can grow to a company. Companies are the most common form or business in Australia since it offers some protection for the owners and the money you put into the company.

As a director, you do have responsibilities to the company as well. You must know what you can and cannot do as you can actually be prosecuted as a director if something goes terribly wrong.

My recommendation is just to know how big you want to get. If you think you will need asset protection speak to an account. Remember, as soon as you go to a company or a trust, there’s a lot more costs involved.

Get an Australian Business Number

Next thing, you’ll need to get an ABN number (just Google it). Double check online because the rules are constantly changing.

You can’t trade without an ABN (Australian business number).

You cannot open a business bank account without this ABN.

You’ll need to check with the ATO on what taxes you need to register for. Your accountant can also help you in this regard.

This is our short guide to registering a business in Australia. The above points should serve as a guide to send you on the right path and we did not talk about things like marketing, market research etc which can be done afterwards…


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