How To Open A Small Business In Australia

If you live in Australia or plan to move to the country, you're probably wondering how to open a small business in Australia and the requirements to run your business.

According to the Australia Bureau of Statistics, there was a 3.8% increase in the number of businesses in Australia in 2020/2021. This increase shows a spike in small business owners and new entrepreneurs in the country's ecosystem. This spike has meant that business coaching services have increased to help the new Australian entrepreneurs.

How To Open A Small Business In Australia for anyone

The Short Answer About How To Open A Small Business In Australia

You can start by creating your business plan and business structure, then secure a good, business-driven environment to launch. For instance, you can conduct business in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and other business-driven areas. When considering how to open a small business in Australia, Darwin and Adelaide are smaller cities within Australia. However, they are growing and might be the perfect place to open your business.

And you can meet a small business coach who'll help set your entrepreneurial journey. It's also essential to know about the legal obligations (tax registration & payment) for your dream business, the necessary licenses for operation, and how to register your business name with the Australian government.

You Can Start a Small Business at Home in Australia

team starting up a small business in Australia with the help of a small business coach

Starting your own business in Australia is pretty straightforward. You can even launch it from your room. However, below is everything you need to kick-start your small business:

1. Get a Business Plan

To launch a new business in Australia, you need to have a business plan. A Business plan contains everything about your to-be-launched business.

Below are what you must have in your Business plan:

Your Products/Services

There must be a clear idea of what service or product you'll be rendering/producing. For example, are you introducing a completely new service/product to your audience? Or do you intend to improve an existing one?

Your Competitors

It'd help if you clearly understood who your rivals are in your new business venture. But, first, you have to identify what they're good at and what they've been neglecting. This will empower you to offer something better and to have the edge over them. Before considering how to open a small business in Australia, you must have a strong understanding of the competitive landscape.

Your Audience

One of your business goals is to make your goods and services known to customers. To actualize this, you need to know your audience. You should know where you can find them, their pain points, and how to solve them when you kick-start your business.

Your Operating Policy

small business operating procedures

Your business plan should also contain an operating policy. Since starting a small business is a self-employment job, you have to decide how you intend to operate.

For example, when is it convenient for your customers to reach out to you? How do you prefer to be reached? What's your product or service price? Will you be hiring employees?

Your Basic Needs

Your basic needs are the equipment you'll need for your business. Are they electronics or in the form of a software stack? Next, you need to know where to get them, how much they cost for a repair, and if you can borrow them or make a new purchase.

Have a Structure

Choose your business structure before registering your company. For example, will you be a sole proprietor of your company, or do you care to have a partner?

In addition, if you're going to employ people, you need to know the number of employees required. Then, after finalizing the kind of structure you want for your small company, you can proceed to register.

Have Marketing Plan & Distribution Channels

Distribution Channels for small business

The kind of business you plan to venture into will determine what method to use in marketing your goods or services.

For example, you don't need to pay or spend unnecessarily to sell your goods and services. Instead, you can create social media accounts for your business and employ a social media manager for content marketing to cover costs. Your social media manager can harness social networks like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok for this cause.

To distribute your goods/products, you can hire a commercial driver or motorcyclist to deliver them to your potential customers.

2. Form Your Brand

creating a brand with the help of a business coach

To start a business, you have to form a good business name. What name do you intend to be called by your customers? Carving a unique name for your brand is very important. Below are what you need to do before picking a name:

Do a Research

Since you wouldn't like your business to be mistaken for another enterprise or company, you should research to confirm that nobody else is using your chosen name. You can discover this using a Google search. Before you invest any capital into how to open a small business in Australia you should ensure that you research everything leaving no business opportunity to chance.

Create a Website With the Selected Business Name

Try creating a website using the selected business name as your domain name. Then, if the domain name is still available when you try, you can use it.

You should also make sure your business name is easy to pronounce, as this will be useful for advertising your business on media (radio & television) in the future.

Legal Requirements for Starting a Business in Australia

legal requirements for opening a small business in Australia

Having a good business idea and money aren't the only requirements to become a business owner in Australia. You need to have both legal business and regulatory requirements provided by the Australian government to start your new venture into business.

Below are some of the legal business requirements you need:

Register A Business Name

Your new business name registration is one of the first requirements to operate in Australia. You need to register your chosen name and obtain licenses from the Australia Business Register (ABR) before you start building a business.

Once you get your own Australian Business Number (ABN), you're good to enter the business.


Before starting a business in Australia, you need to do tax registration for your business. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is where you need to go for this exercise. Your business type and income will determine how much tax/taxes you pay yearly.

You can include your business income in your tax return as a sole trader. And you're not to pay a separate tax for your business due to personal liability.

It's worth mentioning that you have to use a tax file number to report your share in your return in a partnership business structure. And when your business begins to grow, you'll have to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST).

You also don't need to worry about withholding tax or getting fuel tax credits and fringe benefits tax.

The Fair Trading Laws

Fair Trading Laws for small businesses in Australia

After you register your business, you'll need to observe and keep fair trading laws. Fair trading laws guide how you interact with your customers and competitors.

These laws keep you away from unfair market practices and ensure your customers are treated with equity. The regulations also create a safe space for fair competition between your business and other brands.

Business Privacy Law

By starting a small business, you'll be exposed to many of your customers' personal information. To prevent you from using this information against your customers, you must adhere to business privacy law. This law encourages businesses to protect the data of their customers.

Not complying with this law can affect both your business and your customer.

Refrain from IP Infringement

To kick-start your business in Australia, you shouldn't pinch other businesses' Intellectual Property (IP); don't try to copy another brand's IP. Instead, create your own IP like your trademark, Copyright, Patent, and designs.

Infringing other businesses' IPs can land your small business in big trouble as the businesses may take legal action that may eventually affect your business.

If you want a unique trademark for your company, make some and register it with IP Australia.

Follow Legal Marketing Strategy

To open a small business in Australia, you need to know how to market your products and services. Using your IP is always the best. Advertising your products via permissible social platforms in the country is also essential.

How Much It Costs To Open A Small Business In Australia

Costs to Open a Small Business in Australia

On average, you may need between $3,000 - $5,000 to open a small business in Australia, depending on the type of business. However, let's consider some of the expenses involved.

Firstly, you can register your business as a company for $512 or obtain only a business name for $37/year (or you could pay $88 for three years).

Next, you may have to consider salaries for your staff; the Australian minimum wage is currently $20.33 per hour (before tax).

Also, rent is a substantial cost. The amount depends on the size and location of the premises. For example, on average, you may spend about $1025/square meter per year in Sydney CBD and $380/square meter per year in Brisbane.

Other costs include professional fees, insurance, office equipment, and more!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Required to Start a Business in Australia?

To open a business in Australia, you must register and get a license from the Australia Business Register (ABR).

Is It Easy to Start Business in Australia?

Yes, starting a business in Australia is pretty straightforward. If you have the requirements and funding, you can create your business.

Final Words

Starting a small business in Australia may be quite easier than you may expect. Firstly, you need to develop a business plan that highlights your products/services, competitors, audience, structure, and more!

Next, you're expected to form your brand. You can create your brand by doing a lot of research to get a good business name and then create a website for the business.

In addition, you have to take note of some legal requirements such as taxes, fair trading laws, business privacy laws, and more! Now you will know how to open a small business in Australia.

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