Steps for setting up your business

A lot of people think starting a business is hard. Too many would-be-entrepreneurs get stuck early in the process because they think only a certain type of person has what it takes to make it as a successful business owner. The reality is, most people have what it takes: a good idea, the right amount of capita and the creativity.

Setting up your business can be an exciting time. However, its important you’re aware of what’s involved before you start, to save you time and money. That’s why we are here to help you along the way.

You don’t need to pay someone to register your business, you can do it all yourself, online.

Registering your business can be done from the comfort of your own home or office. The steps involved in registering your business are:

  1. Deciding on your business structure
  2. Applying for your Australian Business Number (ABN)
  3. Checking your chosen business name is available
  4. Registering your business name
  5. Registering your website domain name

Step 1: Deciding on your business structure


When starting a business, it’s important to choose the business structure that best suits your needs.

Your business structure, also known as the applicant or entity type, refers to the way you will operate your business.

Types of business structures include:

  1. Sole trader: an individual trading on their own
  2. Partnership: an association of people or entities running a business together, but not as a company
  3. Trust: an entity that holds property or income for the benefit of others
  4. Company: a legal entity separate from its shareholders.

It’s important to remember that you can change your business structure as your business grows.

Visit the Australian Taxation Office website for more information on each business structure.

Step 2: Applying for your Australian Business Number (ABN)


Your ABN is a unique number that allows you to identify your business to government and other businesses.

Head to the Australian Business Register website to apply for your ABN.

Applying for an ABN is free and completing the online application form should take you around 30 minutes.

You will need to provide:

  1. Your personal details
  2. Your associate details
  3. Reasons for your application
  4. Your business activity details and
  5. A declaration that the information you have provided throughout the application is true.
  6. A declaration that the information you have provided throughout the application is true.

Look out for the help icons throughout the application if you are unsure how to answer a question.

Once completed, you can print a copy for your records.

Your new ABN will appear on the completed application screen and will be ready for you to use right away.

Step 4: Registering your business name


Once you have found an available business name, register the name with ASIC to secure it.

  1. To do this: Go to the ASIC Connect website.
  2. Sign up to create an account with ASIC prior to beginning your application. Once you have your account you can begin the application.
  3. Complete the application. This should take you around 15-20 minutes to complete and at the end of the application you will receive confirmation that your chosen name has been registered.

Applying for a business name costs $34 AUD for one year or $79 for three years. Visit the ASIC website for more information on business name payments and fees.

Visit ASIC for more information on creating your ASIC account.

Your business name is only your identification. Registering your business name doesn’t give you full rights over the name, so you might want to consider protecting your business name by trade marking it.

Step 5: Registering your website domain name


Your domain name is your website address on the internet and gives your business an online identity or brand for your customers.

When picking a website name it’s best to go with a name that:

represents your business
is easy to remember, pronounce and spell
is three syllables or less.
If you want to buy a .com.au or .net.au web address you will need to have an ABN.

To register your domain name you need to visit a registrar or reseller. Some options for domain registrars are GoDaddy or CrazyDomains.

Learn more about creating your online presence by reading our Online business topic.

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To find out more information on how you can start your own business, then please contact us now to discuss how we can help.