Starting a business needs planning and dedication. Our tips will help you understand the starting a business process and what's involved before you start selling to customer or engaging clients.

17 business start-up tips

  1. Check if you’re ready to start a business
  2. Before you get excited over business names, logos and stock, it’s important to know if you're ready to start a business. Use our Are you ready to start a business? checklist to evaluate if you're ready and suited to running a business.

  3. Choose your business structure
  4. One of the first things you need to do when starting a business is choose a business structure, will you be a sole trader, a partnership or a company? It’s important to know, you can change your business structure as your business grows or expands.

  5. Choose a business name
  6. Choosing your business name is exciting, but before you register a name, you need to check if it's available and make sure it stands out against your competitors.

  7. Develop a business plan
  8. It's never too early to start your business plan. Get your thoughts out on paper and start evaluating your business idea. Use our Business plan tool to help you document key information, set goals for the year ahead and keep your business on track.

  9. Register for an ABN
  10. Registering for an Australian Business Number (ABN) is an important step when starting a business. Your ABN will identify your business when it comes to taxes and invoices, and help with activities like claiming grants.

  11. Register for licences and permits
  12. Before starting a business, you need to know what licences and permits your business will require. Use the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) to find out which licenses and permits you need to start, run and grow your new business.

  13. Register for taxes
  14. Knowing which taxes your business needs to register for can be challenging as a first-time business owner. Your business will need to register for certain taxes depending on the type of business you're starting.

  15. Get the right business insurance
  16. Choosing the right insurance can help to protect your business, your customers, and your income. It's important you understand the different types of insurance and which ones you need for your business.

  17. Understand your legal requirements
  18. Knowing your legal rights and obligations is essential for a new business owner - you need to know which laws you must comply with when it comes to registrations, contracts, marketing and employment. Read up on legal essentials for business, or talk to a legal expert or business adviser so that you know you're on top of it all.

  19. Calculate the start-up costs
  20. Starting a business can come with upfront costs and unexpected expenses. It’s important to set enough money aside before you start. If you're not sure how much starting a business will cost you, use our start-up cost template to help you work it out.

  21. Start keeping records correctly from the start
  22. Start keeping records from day one. Getting your record keeping right from the get-go can save you time and money down the track. Businesses must keep proof of transactions for tax and superannuation purposes. These records can also be used to check your business health, cash flow, or demonstrate your financial position to a bank or lender. It’s important you know what records you need to keep, how to keep records and how long to keep them for.

  23. Set up your finances
  24. Start out the right way. Use our handy setting up your finance checklist to get you on track, with steps you can follow to set up your business accounts and tools to help you manage your finances.

  25. Know where to get expert advice
  26. Just because you're starting your own business doesn't mean you have to go it alone. Check out our Adviser finder, you can search our database of experts and find someone to chat to online, over the phone or face-to-face.

  27. Attend training events and networking opportunities
  28. As a new business owner, it’s important  to get out and connect with like-minded business owners and experts. Search our Event finder for beginner friendly training courses and networking opportunities both online and in-person.  

  29. Find grants and support programs
  30. While the government generally doesn’t offer funding just to start a business, there may be other forms of assistance available to help you. Check out our Grant finder to search for grants, loans and support programs from across government.

  31. Research your market
  32. When you run a business, you’ll want to know who your customers are. Market research helps you to understand your customers and their needs, as well as what your competitors are doing.

  33. Develop a marketing plan
  34. To attract customers, you need to develop a marketing plan. A marketing plan can help you identify your target audience, set goals and plan strategies to market your products or services.

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